For the people who always prefer the Cliffs Notes to the actual book, here you go…
BOO: CLIFFS NOTES VERSION: I made Boo out of two old purple t-shirts of mine when Mazzy was three months old. I used it to help ease the transition out of a bassinet next to our bed into a crib in her own room. It’s name was derived by Mazzy, as a shorthand for “Peek-a-boo”, since we often played Peek-a-boo with the blankie when she was a baby. Since then, Boo has become Mazzy’s most prized possession and constant companion. As Boo has aged, it has spawned many other Boos. Some that I recreated with new purple t-shirts and some because the older Boos have fallen apart into several pieces.
Here is Original Boo back in it’s glory days:
And here is Boo now:
Basically, Boo is a growing pile of rags.
Boo rarely leaves the house anymore, except when Mazzy goes on an overnight trip. Then she must choose which “piece of Boo” to bring along. She has never spent a single night in four years without at least one piece of Boo.
I have often said that if Mazzy had to choose between me and Boo, she’d take Boo.
The love is that big.
At least, that’s what I thought.
Last Friday, Mazzy suddenly decided she didn’t need Original Boo anymore and threw it away. Only she didn’t tell Mike and I about her decision until later that same evening, after we had already sent the garbage down the chute of our building.
Now here’s the irony.
Mazzy was totally fine with the separation. No regrets. She told us offhandedly, way after the fact, like it was no big deal. Why would it be a big deal to toss a dying rag?
Mike and I, however, were DEVASTATED.
“But…. I would have saved it!”
“Why? It wasn’t good anymore, Mom.”
She’s right. Original Boo was a shred of a shred of shred. And she still has several better, newer Boos.
But the one she threw out was the original. The first thing Mazzy slept with when we were too terrifiied to put anything but a sheet in her crib. I remember selecting the two t-shirts from my drawer— for both softness and color— and bringing it to the dry cleaner to sew into a blankie, back during my first maternity leave, when I rarely left the house.
How could Mazzy have tossed her lifelong friend so unceremoniously???
I posted on facebook about our loss. All the comments displayed equal devastation and suggested I take action.
And by “action”, I mean “dumpster diving”.
However, being that it was a Friday night, the trash room was locked. I called the super of our building and told him what happened. He said I wouldn’t be able to get in until Monday morning, but then I could search until my heart’s content.
Over the weekend, I became convinced that we would find it. How many apartments were in the building? How much could accumulate in two days? Everyone throws out their stuff in white kitchen bags, so I’d just have to identify which one was ours and go through that. How messy could it be?
On Monday morning, I found out that kitchen bags don’t often survive a trip down from the 12th floor. Ditto for floors 6 through 16.
Also, a maintenance person had come over the weekend, put all the recyclables in clear bags and combined all the “other” garbage in black bags.
Boo would be in an “other” bag.
“Other” also included spoiled food, coffee grinds, used tampons and dirty diapers.
IT WAS DISGUSTING.
This was garbage that had fallen several stories and then been combined with other fallen garbage. And somehow, it was all wet. Like all the garbage had been soaked in the river.
As I opened one bag after the other and determined each was not fit to even touch, much less GO THROUGH, I realized Boo was gone. Mazzy was okay with it and I would have to be, too.
I let the loss of Boo settle, left for work and moved on.
Later that evening, I returned home and Ruth, our nanny, met me at the door.
“I have something to show you.”
She led me into Mazzy’s room and pulled a piece of Original Boo out of the back of the top drawer.
I had totally forgotten. When Boo first spilt in two, Ruth had taken one half and put it in Mazzy’s drawer for safekeeping. At the time, Boo was rapidly desintegrating and putting half of it away seemed like a good way to double it’s lifespan. This was right before I decided to buy new t-shirts to make more Boos.
I took Original Boo out of Mazzy’s drawer and transfered it into the back of my own drawer. Right next to my good jewelry and cards I keep from Mike.
A few days later, when Mazzy decided yet another piece of Boo could be trashed, I took that piece and put it in the back of my drawer too.
Now, I’m the one stockpiling rags.
Mazzy might be realizing she is getting too old for her blankie.
But that doesn’t mean I’m ready to let my baby go.