Long Live Weerow the Sea Horse

One of the things you hear as a new mom is that it goes by fast — the days are long, but the years are short. And it’s true. All of a sudden I have an almost 7-year-old and almost 5-year-old. They’re not babies, and they’re not toddlers. How did this happen?

My oldest doesn’t want to kiss us anymore, and she’s very independent. My youngest is entering Pre-K, but still likes to cuddle and give kisses. But he is starting leave his stuffed seahorse at home more instead of hiding him in his backpack every day for school. He’s sleeping with other stuffies at night, too. This is what bothers me the most. I didn’t expect him to go to college with Weerow (the sea horse), but it’s so bittersweet watching Eli not cling to his buddy so much.

I remember when Eli first found Weerow, he wasn’t even a year old. I originally got the sea horse at McDonalds in a Happy Meal when I was in high school (1999). Beanie Babies were all the craze then and for some reason, I kept it. It was just small enough for Eli’s hands and soon he carried it everywhere. He wasn’t walking that well yet so sometimes he put the sea horse in his mouth while he crawled.

One day he started referring to it as “Weerow,” and that’s the name that stuck. I found a larger version of the sea horse online so he’d have extra We probably have 10 extras in waiting. Boy, do they get dirty fast. Eli chews on the eyes — well, chews on the whole thing. Honesty, Weerow (still) smells like dirty mop water, but Eli loves it. He still takes whiffs of his pal here and there. Weird, I know, but it somehow calms him. I was hoping we’d have Weerow in our lives for a couple more years, and maybe we will.

I know it’s not the sea horse I’m upset about — it’s the fact that my babies are growing up. They’re changing and entering new phases I know nothing about yet. I blinked, and now they’re big (ish) kids.

Next time I’m counting down until the kids’ bedtime (which is often), I’ll try to remember that I need to appreciate my kids and the fact that their childhoods won’t last forever. Time is so fleeting, and we have to make it count as much as possible. I’ll probably still count the minutes some days, I mean come on, but I’ll do my best. I’ll take mental pictures. I’ll take real pictures. I’ll be present and mindful.

Sigh. On second thought, I wouldn’t mind if Eli took Weerow to college.

Weerow, Formerly Known as Neon, the Seahorse

Remember back in the ’90s when McDonalds was giving out Beanie Babies in its Happy Meals? It was all the rage. I remember getting a few Happy Meals to get the Beanie Babies because we were all going to become rich from collecting them, right? For some particular reason, I only kept one of the Beanie Beanies from the Happy Meals. His or her name was Neon the seahorse and she was born in 1999. I kept it for a long time. Into my 20s and into my 30s. I put it into my children’s stuffed animal collection when I moved out of my parents’ house just because I thought it was cute and didn’t care to get rid of it. 

Anyway, when I had my kids the seahorse was just sitting around in the stuffy bins. Isla never paid attention to it but when Eli was born, he was drawn to it and as soon as he could grip things, the seahorse was his. He took it everywhere. Eventually I got online to find more and I did. You can find anything on Amazon. I found some still in the original McDonalds’ packaging, then I hit the motherlode – they had a 7″ or so one available from Ty so I bought some of those. 

Eli continued to grow but that seahorse (or one of them anyway) would always be near. When he learned to talk, he started to call the seahorse by a name but we really couldn’t understand it. Then one day we did – Weerow. Years later, it’s still Weerow and we’ve gone through at least 10, because eyeballs get chewed out, holes are made and God knows what else. My housekeeper and I have started sewing up the holes and eyes just to save money so we’re not buying so many so often.

Eli loves seahorses so much – I made him a seahorse blanket, he loves to see Weerows at the aquarium and in books. It’s just amazing. And it all started with some stupid Happy Meal toy I got when I was a freshman in high school and kept for 20 years. Life is crazy.

Here’s what Neon (Weerow) is supposed to look like:

Here are the eye-less, hole-ridden Weerows on their last leg. Er, tail if you will. And the blanket I made Eli. Why are seahorses always neon-colored? 

Anyway, this blog didn’t have a point. It just warms my heart.

Weerow FOREVER.