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Piggy is our family’s mascot and Small’s near constant companion. She has become so threadbare that I fear it will not be long before Small literally loves her to pieces. I have patched her, re-stuffed her, and darned her to the best of my abilities. When I am outside of Small’s hearing, I refer to her as “Frankenpig.” I’m quite sure Piggy doesn’t mind; she cares only for her kid.
A couple of weeks ago, Medium went to Disney World. Without us. She didn’t go alone (obviously) but she wasn’t with any of her immediate family members. She accompanied our friends and their seven-year-old son, A, who are friends-like-family or “framily” to us. (See how I can make up words just like the media? Brangelina, what?) According to her own and eye-witness reports, Medium had a ball and hardly missed us. It’s possible that she didn’t miss us at all but I’m unwilling to consider that because I missed her terribly and couldn’t wait for her to come home.
We live about four hours from Boston, and she flew in and out of Logan International Airport. The day before she was scheduled to return, my husband and I drove to Beantown with the boys and painted the town Piggy-pink. We hit Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, the Boston Museum of Science, Harvard Square and the Hilton Boston Financial District. We rode the “T” multiple times, much to Small’s delight, and listened to a lecture on rockets given by MIT students. We also terrorized the staff at the Harvard Coop Bookstore but there’s no photographic evidence and some things are better left unsaid.
I endeavor to prevent Piggy from joining us on family excursions but my efforts are for naught as Henry tries equally hard to keep Piggy with him at all times.
Piggy is Henry’s first great love.
When he presses her snout to his nose and gazes adoringly into her black eyes, the rest of the world stops and it is only them — a pig and her boy.
When Henry is hurt, he wants Piggy’s comfort. When he is elated, Piggy helps him celebrate. When he is tired, only Piggy’s snuggles suffice.
And just the other day, we lost her. In a department store.
We were almost at our vehicle when I looked down and realized that Piggy was missing. I stopped dead in my tracks. “Henry, where’s Pig?”
He stared at the cement sidewalk as though she might materialize. Shrugging his shoulders, he mumbled, “I dunno.”
I was disturbed by his blasé reaction. His one-and-only Piggy might never be seen again and his response was to shrug?
Henry’s attitude was casual, at first. But when the porcine puff was nowhere to be found, he began to search the store in earnest. “Mommy! What if we don’ find her?”
Moments later, his worried tone turned gleeful: “Dere she ith! Thee, Mommy, I find her!” He buried his face in her body and cooed.
Driving home, a flash of pink caught my eye. Piggy was hanging out the window; her red and purple ears flapped wildly in the breeze. I yelled for Henry to bring Piggy inside the van.
“But she’th hot!” he protested. “She wathn’t thcared! She liketh it!”
My voice shook with exasperation. “And what if you dropped her? You should be keeping her safe. Let’s not lose her twice in one day!”
Why are we careless with the ones we love?
Piggy may know, but she isn’t telling.