Thoughts of bears came to the forefront of my warped brain when my daughter Anna and her boyfriend James Prinkey came inside saying that there had been a black bear in the backyard of my home. It ran from an area where a bee hive was located across the grass, crossing the road only to disappear in the high growing grass of a hay field.
The sighting made me think of the times as a child, I would dream of looking out of my window and seeing a bear in the yard of my parents house. Sometimes it would walk in the yard, only to disappear into the woods behind our home. At other times it would rear up and look through my second story bedroom window. When the dream of a bear would turn into a nightmare, I would wake up with my heart pounding in my chest. I knew that having a bear look into my window was impossible; it did little to calm my childish fears.
I had never seen a bear in the wild until driving home one night after work. I crossed the top of a hill and walking along the road was a shaggy, dusty looking furred creature. I thought at first that it was a large dog, but as I passed it, I noticed that it was too tall. The earthen bank beside it was nearly three feet high. I couldn’t see its face, so I turned around to get a better look, but it had disappeared into one of the fields that lined both sides of the road.
The bear sighting also reminded me of a story my sister Kathy would tell me. She would watch her granddaughter at times. Kathy had a potty chair for Alyssa to use when she visited, but Alyssa refused to use it even though she was doing well with potty training at her home.
Finally, after repeated questioning, Alyssa confessed that she was afraid of the decal of a fluffy teddy bear that had been applied to the backrest of the potty chair. Once Kathy made a cover for the back rest, Alyssa had no problem with using the potty and I am glad to say, she no longer needs to wear diapers.
While we are on the subject of potties, I recall a story that Kathy shared with me. My brother, Ken, visited when she was babysitting Alyssa. Ken, who is proud of his gas producing skills, passed gas with a thunderous rip. Alyssa ran from the room. Concerned that Alyssa had been scared by the flatulence, she followed the child. Kathy broke out into laughter when she saw that Alyssa was coming back with her potty chair in tow. From the sound that she’d heard, she decided that Ken was in need of her potty.