Grace’s Best Friend

Have I mentioned Eeyo before now? Not sure if we are spelling his little name correctly – she named him that – but it is pronounced E – yo. He is a lamb that we got at one of her showers that we named Lambda. He was a smallish stuffed animal – so he stayed in bed with her from about 6 months on. I wanted her to love him and have someone to cuddle – but I had no idea how attached she would be. There are many things in life that Grace can do without – Eeyo is NOT one of them.

grace and eeyo

When Grace is sleepy or sad – she comforts herself with a thumb in her mouth and with her other hand – she rubs Eeyo’s eyes. The poor little lamb is just beat up – his eyes are all dull and scratched up because this sweet little person comforts herself by rubbing his eyes back and forth for probably a couple of hours each day! It is amazing (and seems to us more than a little compulsive – but that’s for a therapist to decide :).

She named him Eeyo and began to ask for him as one of her first words. For several months – we were able to pretty much keep Eeyo in bed – we’d put him back to sleep when she woke up and she’d go about her day. But somehow in the past few months – Eeyo has gone from a “Nighttime pal” to literally her constant, all day playmate. She talks to him, laughs at him, delights in him. When she puts on shoes – she wants Eeyo to have shoes on. When her diaper gets changed and she has diaper rash – we can often only comfort her when Eeyo also gets a diaper changed. When I brush her hair – you guessed it – I have to drag a brush through this poor little stuffed animal’s matted hair. She LOVES him.

She babies him – puts him to bed with a blanket at any time. Says “Night night Eeyo – Sweet Dreams!” Tries to feed him her food. Snuggles with him continuously. For her little only child self (so far) – he is seriously her brother and constant companion. Justin and I are amazed watching it. We have a camera in her room so we can keep an eye on her at nights and during naptimes. If we leave it on our TV when she is awake – she will run back in her room and leave Eeyo somewhere where she can see him in the camera – and then run back to see him and laugh in delight that she can see her Eeyo on TV.

This is one loved stuffed animal. All kinds of terrible things have happened to him – he’s there when she’s sick or has accidents – and each of those things have warranted him being immediately thrown in the laundry on a serious hot water wash cycle. He looks really nothing like the original Lambda looked like – I tried to order an alternate Eeyo off the internet in case this one gets lost (horror) but the alternate looks freaky and big and way too clean and fluffy. She is never fooled.

So here’s the point of my little Eeyo story… (if you’ve read this far along you really are a trooper). It is amazing how endearing this animal is to us as the first object that our little girl truly loves. Everything about parenting shows me something about the Lord’s love for us – and Eeyo is included in that list. So often I had the misperception that the Lord was disappointed in me or frustrated with me for my innate humanness and sin struggles. But Grace has shown me this kind of love that understands limitations and loves despite them. I understand that Grace is only 23 months old and that her ability to obey and understand my point of view is incredibly limited. That her little emotions and comprehensions are all over the map – and that the things that are so VITALLY important to her mean something to her – even if it is something as silly as wanting an apple at that second and not understanding why an apple is not appearing in her little hand the moment she asks for it. And if I love my daughter like that – how much more does our heavenly Father love and understand us? And the things that are important to us – the Eeyos in our life – they are important to Him too. I really do get concerned when Eeyo is missing because she has tucked him away to “sleep” somewhere and we can’t find him. I think I have always thought that the Lord saw my desires or things I want as silly and frivolous – but if the Lord loves me the way I love Grace – he understands my love for these things and my need for them. I just think I haven’t given the Lord enough credit in my life – understood his love enough.

And so today I’ve been thinking about the Eeyos in my life and my love for them – my need for them. And that because they are important to me – they are important to my Creator and my Saviour… and so I feel a little less silly, a lot more loved and cherished, and a lot more understood.

Thanks Eeyo – I owe you one!

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