So for those of you that don’t know, I work in this stuffed animal store called Build A Bear, where kids can make their own bears, wash them, dress them, and make them birth certificates.
Oftentimes I complain about it, either because the kids are bratty or the parents give me attitude. But there is a bright side as well.
Today I was the party host for 10 kids, ages 4-12. When it was time to name their bears on the computers, the 9 year old birthday girl named her bear Anastasia, after me. And the whole group of kids were just really great in general, in contrast to some bratty kids that I’ve had to do birthday parties for.
Also, it’s amazing that so many kids come in to make bears not just because their parents are letting them, or it’s their birthday.
Here are some of the reasons that I remember:
- I’ve had kids make bears for their unborn siblings, where they recorded their voice saying “I love you ___” and put it in the bear.
- A little girl made a bear because she lost her first tooth.
- A mother brought her toddler in so he could make a bear in exchange for giving up his pacifier.
- A grandmother brought her granddaughter in to make a bear because her mom died of cancer.
- The other day, a teenage couple made 2 bears, the girl put her bear in a dress and the guy put his in an army uniform because he was getting deployed in a month. Then they exchanged their bears so they’d have something to remember each other by. Call it sappy or whatnot, but I thought it was incredibly sweet.
- An elderly man came in to make a bear and when I asked him who it was for, her said it was for his wife, for their 50th wedding anniversary today.
- We’ve had many couples make bride and groom bears and have the bears at their wedding. A little boy that was the ring bearer in his aunt’s wedding used his bear instead of a pillow to carry the ring down the isle.
- An extremely sick girl that was part of the Make A Wish foundation was getting to see One Direction and even go backstage for a private meet and greet. She was making a bear to give to them; she ended up dressing in it a suit and tie and had it hold a little microphone and guitar.
I’ve never realized how many special moments are associated with our store until I started working here.
Even though some of the reasons are bitter sweet, I’m still really thankful that I get to help make such an unforgettable experience for these kids and their families.