Tuesday, May 15, 2007


My soon to be eleven-year-old son, Rojo, went with me to Jennifer's about a month ago. He played in her backyard just long enough to find a 3" plastic Care Bear Jo had left in the sandbox.

I didn't know Rojo even knew what a Care Bear was. We don't have ANY - correction, didn't have any - at our house. No mention of Care Bears, no videos, no NOTHING. My daughter had mercifully skipped that whole cutesy B.S.

"Where is my Care Bear?" Rojo asked in the car coming home.

"You don't have one, Honey."

"But I need a Care Bear." (He never asks for ANYTHING.)

Upon coming home he went through his 2,001 stuffed animals, determined to find "his" Care Bear. The exercise proved futile.

That weekend he spent some time with my mom. When she brought him home, behind his back hid "his" Care Bear, "Lucky."

"See, Mom? I DO have a Care Bear! His name is 'Lucky'! You were wrong, Mom! I DO have a Care Bear! See Lucky? See my pink, boy Care Bear, Lucky? See his rainbow? See? I DO have a Care Bear, Mom, you were wrong! Why were you wrong? Why did you tell me I don't have a Care Bear?"

"Because until Grammy took you to Toys R Us 1/2 an hour ago you DIDN'T," I thought, but was smart enough not to answer. I knew that Rojo being Rojo had some divine plan for his new pink, boy Care Bear, Lucky.

Lucky went to school in Rojo's backpack for several days in a row. Lucky came out each day at "sharing time" and each day Rojo shared his pink, boy, Care Bear with the other fourth graders in his class. My husband and I shuttered for a minute, thinking what the other kids must think, but then said, "what the hell..." and allowed it to continue. He'd already "shared" Elmo, Big Bird and Ernie, not to mention his girl-turned-boy doll, "Tarzan" a million times already. What was the point of ending our humiliation now? The horses were long gone from the barn.

Monday our dear family friend and long-term Rojo advocate, "Rosie" came over after school. She is a frequently requested house guest by both kids, and my personal favorite. All three feet of Rosie are packed with personality and wisdom beyond her years. I'll never forget her mom telling me Rosie came home from kindergarten one day and said, "Mom, Rojo is a lot smarter than you think. He can recite the alphabet backwards and count to 100!" I was ready to adopt her on the spot. She has not let anyone mess with him, ever, she's got his back, front, and both sides around-the-clock.

While Rosie was stuck watching Rojo play an odd mix of Go-Fish and solitaire, she told me all about Rojo sharing Lucky for the 10th day in a row.

"Some kids, well actually two kids, were kind of laughing at Rojo when he shared Lucky. They said, 'He has a CARE BEAR??? A PINK Care Bear???" I just gave them a look and said, "Yes! He has a Care Bear? What's so funny about that?"

I looked at Rosie and told her again how lucky we all are to have her as Rojo's good, good, friend.

"Well it IS a Catholic school, you know, that behavior is unacceptable! We are supposed to be kind to everyone! Rojo IS kind to everyone, it's not OK for others not to be kind to him!"

"That's right, Rosie," I agreed, "you tell 'em!"

"Oh, I do! I don't even care if they get mad at me. Their parents should be teaching them this stuff, but since they AREN'T, I guess, I'll just do it!"

"I love you and everything about you, Rosie!" I enthused.

"Just doing my job," she smiled.

As she languished on the couch watching the Go-Fish/solitaire game patiently, as directed, I just had to snap her darling picture. I called her mom later to ask if I could post the picture and this story on my blog, I told her all about it.

"Sure," she said, "and you ought to know, her brother's nickname for her is Care Bear."

Of course it is.

This from the Care Bear website...

"Cheer Bear is a very happy Care Bear who helps others see the bright side of life. She will sometimes even do a cheer to help make someone happier. Wherever she goes, Cheer Bear wears a symbol of hope and happiness—a rainbow.
Caring Mission: Cheers people up.
Symbol: Her rainbow symbol represents hope.
Personality: Happy and upbeat.
Character Quirk: Sometimes communicates through rhyming cheers.
Color: Pink.
Best Friend: Wish Bear
Relationship Challenge: Grumpy Bear - she's always trying to cheer him up!
Motto: When in doubt, SMILE!"


Suzy said...

Rojo is a Care Bear.

Rosie is a Care Bear.

Maybe they can both teach adults how to be one?

Love these kids.

Sweet sweet photo.

Terry Whitaker said...

LOVE THAT GIRL--and her incredible loyalty to Rojo! You are lucky to have her--and she is lucky to have you--pun intended.

kario said...

My heart is warm, my cup runneth over. What a terrific post, Carrie! I love that your love for Rojo spills out into the world and infects other people. You guys are awesome! Give that girl a hug for me, wouldja?

Jerri said...

LOVE that she knows parents should teach their kids these things. LOVE that.

We went through a long Care Bear phase at our house. Not with Katie, but with Evan. I made him a Care Bear sweatshirt that he wore until it was literally scraps flapping around his body.

All these years later, Care Bears are still with us. They've got a lot of work to do, I guess. Takes a long time.

Anonymous said...

Rosie is an angel masquerading as a little kid. What a blessing.

Sue said...

Love that girl. She has always taken charge! Haven't we thought since 1st grade that she needed her own reality show? Maybe she needs her own talk show to teach the world.

And of course I love your darling little man.

G thought it was cool that he brought the Care Bear without caring what anyone thought. The parade of stuffed animals have been great.

jennifer said...

Love that girl!

Darn, I wish you would have asked us for a bear, jo has a TRIBE of them...some that talk and drive me NUTTY over the EDGE cuckoo and actually kind of freak me out...ask him if he wants another.

riversgrace said...

I love that these two kids really operate to the beat of a different drummer. How refreshing!

Anonymous said...

Rosie will one day a blog of her...the world needs more Rosies and Rojos...talk bout two kids that are old souls....can't get enough of either of them...to imagine that there are some many people going through their day not recognizing the gems in their lives.they are indeed poor souls.
I can't help but think do either of them and just smile....they are CARE BEARS.

Eileen said...

What a beautiful little girl. How I wish there were more children like Rosie in the world. We would all be a lot better off. She has a lot to teach all of us. What a great post! Love the picture too!

Deb said...

So very beautiful. I love Rosie and your son!

Anonymous said...

god damn anonymos must have been in a real hurry today ...........riddled with errors....but what the hell...you got it......

Courtney said...

Hey Carrie, I just checked out the blog b/c I know you are coming to NYC soon (let me know if you & Jennifer have time for a reunion); this was such a lovely story -- what a hero your friend Rosie is! Thanks for posting with her picture. She is adorable.

Michelle O'Neil said...

OMG! She is what ever mother of a special needs child dreams of.

She is so cute and she will go far in life with that kind of depth and kindness.

Julie Christine said...

What a sweet posting! I know why kids like Care Bears...just seeing the rainbow on their tummy makes me happy!

Kim said...

Oh my god, LOVE HER. What an absolute heroine she is, and adorable to boot!

lisajoelle said...

What a wonderful and caring young lady. We could all take some lessons from her Care Bear book of wisdom.