16.40 CHF. Roughly the same amount in USD, this is the price of happiness. Any of you who have met my son, Hudson, have more than likely met ‘Baby Bear,” his constant companion. A 12 inch light-brown-turned-grey stuffed animal he’s carried around with him as long as he’s been able to walk. Brian and I never came up with a nickname for him, instead just always referring to him as “Bear” which is what he’s been affectionately called since then. When Addy was born, Hudson began calling him “Baby Bear” and 11 months later, that’s still his name. Hudson is obsessed with this smelly, raggedy bear. He calls him his best friend, he tells anyone who will listen, “I love baby bear and baby bear loves me,” and he refuses to leave baby bear at home, which naturally means baby bear now has just as many stamps in his passport as Hudson does.
Well, yesterday I had my biggest Hudson/Mom fail to date. We spent all day traveling throughout Switzerland; we left Zurich at 530AM and drove two hours to Interlaken. From there we caught three separate trains, which took 2.5 hours to get to this observatory on the top of Jungfraujoch, a mountain in the Bernese Alps, affectionately referred to as, The Top of Europe. It’s an incredible place to visit, with sweeping views of the glaciers and mountains all around. Kayla and I even spent the $40 to zipline down the side of the mountain, which was terrifying but exhilarating and I’m so glad I did it as I can now check that box off as having been there/done that/don’t need to try it again. We took photos of snowball fights, smiling faces – and a few frowns, we laughed at ourselves for being completely underdressed for being at 11,333 feet, and enjoyed everyone’s company and the experience for what it was. In every photo taken of Hudson yesterday, baby bear is slung across his shoulder or dangling precariously from his hand, trudging through the snow and taking in the sights with him, sitting in his lap on the train rides up and then again on the way back down the mountain. Baby bear joined us for lunch upon arrival at the train station and then kept Hudson’s neck propped up as he napped and we continued on with our three hour drive down to Zermatt.
By this time we’d already been traveling for over 14 hours by train, car, hiking, a strange train/car/pitch black tunnel excursion we weren’t expecting, and we were all exhausted upon arrival at the Zermatt train terminal. Zermatt is a car free town, so we parked our rental car at the terminal, grabbed all of our luggage, woke all three kids from their slumbering states, and piled out of the car. We grabbed a taxi which brought us to the border of Zermatt and then hired an electric car to take us to our hotel. It was a busy day. We have two hotel rooms here so we got all checked in, (Kayla, Kasey and Hudson in one room, Izzy, Adeline and I in another) before meeting back up to walk around town in search of a cold coke zero and a few snacks to get us through the night and then we came back to our hotel ready for sleep. And then Kayla texted me. “Have you seen baby bear?”
My heart stopped.
I didn’t have him. Hudson didn’t have him. Kayla & Kasey didn’t have him. Baby bear was in the car.
I could hear Hudson starting to cry from their hotel room right above me and my heart started to break. Hudson has only spent one other night in the past 3 years without him, and that was the time Hudson (Brian) left him at the dive shop on accident. Hudson (and baby bear) had gone with Brian to the dive shop one afternoon and came home to get ready for bed. Brian gave Hudson a bath and then realized baby bear was missing, he’d left him and the shop was already closed. That was a rough night for all of us, but especially Brian who felt so disappointed in himself for leaving that germ filled bear at the shop. Hudson survived the night and Brian vowed to never leave the bear anywhere else, ever again. Now it was my turn. It was already 10PM, did I put my clothes back on and make the trek back to the train station, take the train back to the car and get the bear? Or do I take the hit this time, recognize I can’t do it all and understand my 3 year old son is going to sleep sad and upset because of me? That sounded like the better option. Kayla cuddled up next to him in bed, he threw his arm around her like he does his bear and he fell asleep. We made it through the night. Thank you, Kay. <3
That being said, you better believe I was on the 830AM train from Zermatt to Tasch which costs exactly 16.40CHF to grab that bear from the car and reunite him with his best friend. It was hands down the best 16.40 I’ve spent all year.