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The gift shop at the Swan Resort in Walt Disney World has Eeyore. The Eeyore. There's a good bit of pressure on this fellow to deliver the sentimentality we require. Lovin' Man would read A.A. Milne's classic aloud with me as we drank White Russians deep in the hundred acre wood.

2004. Beautiful Daughter is Beautiful Baby. We are gathered in Fantasyland, awaiting the nightly fireworks display over Cinderella's castle. There's music and possibly a cricket over the loud speaker. There was hot fudge and ice cream but that was before I knew Dole Whip. When the real show begins, it's loud and frightens baby ears. She cries out and we deflect by popping into the requisite shop catching Winnie the Pooh riders. Brilliant. I direct her attention to a wall of plush characters which I deem daughter sized assuming stripy Tigger will catch her eye. But it was Eeyore's long ears that fit cozily in her chubby fingers as her thumb served it's pacifying purpose. A grey ear with it's tip, soft and furry, caresses a pink nose, soft and warm. Silent lullaby for a sleepy, overstimulated baby girl.

Eeyore was a tricky one. He would often hide here or there and a Daddy would trudge back out into darkness, rain or snow, to retrieve him. Eeyore's tail has a faux button with velcro and a string. Just in case.

During the Year of a Million Dreams, we return to that shop. Hundred Acre Goods now carries the 2007 version of Eeyore, close enough to pass should tragedy strike the one safely snuggled in our girl's arms. The cast member listens as we reminisce. Then she puts New Eeyore in a bag and dreams along with us.


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