Yesterday, during a long run along the riverbank trail Pony Ride the beloved stuffed mouse was lost. We still had her when we crossed the footbridge because I remember glancing down and seeing her hanging by her tail from Rocky's mouth. By the time we got to Skinner Butte Park she was gone. I was so far into the run and my legs were so burned out that I wasn't sure we were even going to be able to make it home and turning back was out of the question.
When we got home I pulled everything out of the jogger to look again to no avail. I was devastated.
Rocky was pretty mature about the whole thing and was trying to cheer me up. "I bet that someone will find her and take her home so she will be safe," she said. Her voice sounded reassuring, but I was thinking about how bedraggled and slobbered on that mouse was and knew that nobody was going to touch its chewed on tail. I sort of toyed with the idea that maybe one of the homeless dudes that wander the trail might think it was interesting and add it to his shopping cart, but I'm not sure that could really be considered a home.
I got in the shower and cried.
At this point I need to justify the surge of emotion by noting that not only am I pregnant, but I had just finished a completely exhausting workout.
Pony Ride was a gift from Jill and was originally meant for Daisy. But, while her little sister was napping, Rocky got the first choice and immediately latched on to the little white beanie baby. It took her almost 2 days to come up with the name...which still has no explanation. Since then she has been carried around either by her tail or in Rocky's shirt. When we last saw her she was no longer white, but that dirty kind of grey that really loved stuffed toys become.
I need to reiterate that Rocky didn't even seem fazed. I mean, I'm not sure if she has even realized what has happened. I, on the other hand, couldn't get over it.
I kept waking up all night long until I decided that first chance this morning I would take my bike and go look along the trail. This, by the way, is not my style. I generally try to stick to the philosophy that toys come and go and our kids need to learn that they aren't that important. The kids already knew, but their mom needed more convincing.
So I headed back to the riverbank trail which turned out to be a disaster. The March of Dimes were having their fundraiser with hundreds of people walking along the trail. I joined at the EWEB building which put me in between the runners and walkers, and I was going the wrong way. I was trapped and desperately trying to maneuver my way through the throngs of baby carriages and tutu wearing dogs. I knew immediately that it was a lost cause because even if Pony Ride was still out there, there was no way that I was going to see her with all these people everywhere. I gradually worked my way through the walkers, and avoided the runners completely. I even came across a table where they were giving out cowbells and even though I knew I shouldn't, I took one. The lady clearly knew that I wasn't one of the walkers, but she smiled at me anyway. Once I made it past the do-gooders I became surrounded by college students that were wearing green and yellow and carrying cases of beer. I'm not sure what was going on at the stadium but it looked like it was going to be pretty lively.
I eventually found a little bit of open space and was able to do some pondering while I enjoyed the beautiful morning. All of it, the race, the students, the river and everything reminded me just how much I love this town.
As I rode along with my new cowbell making tinkling sounds in my pocket I started thinking that maybe this breakdown I was having has less to do with the toy and more to do with the fact that Rocky is turning 4 tomorrow. I know I just basically slipped myself onto the couch at a therapist but I think that Pony Ride is acting as a stand in for the stress I have about my baby growing up. Once again, this is not my style. I always make fun of moms that cry when they drop their kids off at kindergarten. I always thought they were pansies, but here I am publicly admitting that I was bawling my eyes out over a lost mouse.
I think it may have been the weather this morning that helped me find my peace while I was out there on my bike. Pony Ride was only around for a small time, but she was loved harder than most toys in our home will ever be. Four years ago I was just starting the adventure of raising an amazing little girl and even though it feels like seconds have passed she has already grown so much. In a way that little baby is just lost forever. But the thing that makes me feel better is that there will be other Pony Rides, and all kinds of new adventures as my kids grow and learn.
The other lesson that I've learned is that we had better steer clear of ever getting an actual pet because I just don't think I can handle it.