Bear in the Big Blue House

Clea loved the Bear in the Big Blue House. It was one of her first books. She would wake up in the morning and run out of her bedroom calling ‘bear, bear’ as she looked for her book. She knew it off by heart.

When we went to Spain to visit her Yaya, we would walk every morning. Clea was two and a half years old. Jordi and Omar were one (of course, no one wanted to sit next to us on the flight from Australia to Europe!). It was somewhat difficult getting used to the different eating times in Spain – breakfast around 8am, morning tea about 11am, then lunch about 2pm , then siesta and dinner about 9pm. For Clea and her brothers, it was almost impossible to get used to the time changes. So, they would wake at 6am (that’s normal, isn’t it?) then have breakfast so by 11am they were starving.

We would take them walking around Calicanto to keep them occupied and there was a blue house that Clea was convinced was bear’s house. Well, Papa told her that was bear’s house. I’d push her brothers in the twin pram and she would hang off the back or walk beside it, just like she did at home. Then we would stop at Cafe Sol y Nata (sun and cream) where we (the parents) would have coffee and Clea would eat olives whilst her brothers slept, sometimes she would have an ice cream.

I don’t think Jorge’s mother ever realised how difficult it was for small children to get used to such a change in routine – breakfast, morning tea, lunch, siesta, supper, dinner, late to bed – after all, all her children grew up in a Spanish world. It was just her grandchildren who lived in a different world.

I will never forget sitting in the lounge room at 6am with three small, very wake, children, trying to keep them quiet when Clea heard her grandmother snoring. What’s that she said? I don’t know, I said. It’s a cow, said Clea. And indeed, it did sound like a cow!

But back to the Bear in the Big Blue House. There was one song that I still hear in my mind. Bear sang it at the Fireman’s Ball when one of the small bears didn’t find the ball was what she had expected. I used to think that it meant you should open your mind to the world and not have clear expectations of life. It still means that but just a bit more now …

Now maybe you won’t get what you came for
Sometimes it happens that-a-way
Just because you didn’t hit what you aimed for
It doesn’t mean you just run away

I can still hear my old granpappy sayin’ wherever you go in this life

Go with an open mind
Try to leave all expectation behind
You might be in for a pleasant surprise
You’ll never know what you find
If you go with an open mind

Wherever you go in this life
Go with an open mind
Try to leave all expectation behind
Just let it all be a pleasant surprise

Why don’t you see what you’ll find, if you go with an open mind?

Thank you Bear, you gave my daughter so much happiness. You meant the world to her once. I miss you Bear and you’re right, you don’t always get what you come for and sometimes it happens that way. I have always tried to go with an open mind. That is what I wanted for my daughter as well. No closed minds. After all, you never know.

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About huntersoledad

Mother of three. Bereaved mother of one. Survivor and victim of 2009 Samoan tsunami. Could be if would be writer.
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