Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Naming the Bear

My daughter Elizabeth knitted a teddy bear for me. I don't understand how it's possible to knit a teddy bear, but she accomplished it, and very well indeed. He's all fluffy-hairy, but if you squeeze him between your fingers, you can feel that he's knitted. Very cool.

Perhaps because he was a prototype, or for reasons of her own, Elizabeth didn't add eyes after she was done. He has a nose and mouth, but no eyes. So one day, while General Chang the cat, the bear, and I were sitting on the bed in the afternoon sun, I was trying to decide if the bear would be hurt or offended at being named "Blind Bear."

To pave the way, I started telling the cat and bear the story of the time Elizabeth and I were watching a video when our electricity went out. I was sitting there all disappointed that we wouldn't get to finish the movie, when Elizabeth said something-or-other from where she was standing by the light switch instead of from where she'd been sitting in the chair beside mine. This meant that unnoticed by me she must have gotten up and walked to the light switch, and the only reason I could think of to do that would have been to flip the light switch. This meant that when the light had gone out a few seconds ago, it was because Elizabeth had turned it off, not because the power had gone out, which meant that the movie must still be on. Then sure enough, I could see and hear that it was, which was a happy relief.

My eyes and ears work okay, but my Aspy brain has to use reason more than neurotypical brains do in order to work out the information it gets from them.

The point of this story, I explained to the cat and bear, was that I was naming him "Blind Bear" because, like me, he sees and hears with his brain. So his name is an affectionate reminder that we are soul mates with special powers.

He sat in my lap seeming quite happy and agreeable with that, and then the General climbed up into my lap too, so I told them the story of his naming-- how as a kitten he'd so closely resembled Christopher Plummer's General Chang the Klingon, the name had seemed a natural fit for him. As I told them this story, Blind Bear and I watched the General's eyes squinting and blinking in the sunlight from the window, and we asked ourselves if this cat needs sunglasses. I was trying to figure out how to make him a pair, but then Blind Bear suddenly remembered that he's a Klingon too, so I said then he needs a warrior's sash, perhaps in blue to match his nose. And this would be great because I happened to have the authentic materials to make it from, and here we even had a knowledgeable Klingon general present to oversee the project.

We got so excited over this we woke the General, who started grumping to Blind Bear that if he could just get more naps around here, people wouldn't go around saying he needed any stupid old sunglasses, while I ran to fetch blue spray paint and bubble wrap.

It's a good thing spray paint is quick-drying, because by the time the sash was ready we were all practically beside ourselves with excitement. Blind Bear and I woke the General, and we had a very touching presentation ceremony and the General ate lunch. Then Blind Bear asked if his Mommy Elizabeth could please make him two blue eyes to match his blue battle sash. This disturbs me because next he might be asking me to change his name, and that's just so darned time-consuming.

The Generals Chang. (The children then wanted to get a second cat just so they could name him after Mark Lenard's Romulan commander, but I declared that insufficient motivation to take on the care and feeding of yet another family member.)

Klingon warrior sash, 1960's version. Made from cutting-edge technology, a product called "bubble wrap," spray-painted gold.

Then Elizabeth gave us a lemming.

and a groundhog            

                                    And she knitted a rat.

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