(Sometimes, I think I hit “Publish” when really I don’t. This is a delayed post, but too awesome not to share)
I felt like I had to share this with as many people as I could because this little story helps restore my faith in people.
Sometime before the summer started, Addison, my 4 year old, lost her best friend. His name was Cooper Monkey. He was 2 years old. He wore a red circus master’s coat. And he was irreplaceable. At least to Addison.
Cooper Monkey went everywhere with us. He’s been forgotten at a few places – Nanny’s house, the Burlington Public Library – all places where he was “sleeping over”. And he was always recovered. Until he wasn’t…
I don’t know when or where we lost Cooper Monkey, but we did. For the first while we didn’t even know he was actually “lost”. I just assumed he was in a bike basket, a backpack, or a single mitten that often served as his sleeping bag. And then a day became a week and panic started to set in. I checked everywhere I could think to no avail. Weeks passed and my husband and I became good at dodging Addison’s questions about Cooper’s whereabouts. “Maybe he’s in the playroom? Let’s check tomorrow!” “I bet he’s in your toy bins”, “Maybe he’s sleeping over at —?” Addison bought it for a while, and then reality set in. She began to understand that Cooper Monkey was lost. She would cry at the thought of him being alone somewhere without her. She thought he would be sad and scared. It was heartbreaking to see her so emotional.
Months went by, but Addison’s sense of loss didn’t lessen. Every time she read a book about a monkey, saw a stuffed monkey toy somewhere, or just thought about Cooper Monkey, tears came, and Addison cried for her friend to come home. I don’t know if it was because she started school this week and I missed her, but last Tuesday was the final time I was going to watch my baby cry for her buddy. I posted a desperate plea on every Facebook group I belong to (10 in total!) begging for help from my fellow parents:
“Hi everyone! See this little monkey in the red coat? I need him. Desperately. My 4yo daughter Addison lost her “Cooper Monkey” a few moths ago and is still crying for him to come home. He was her best friend. If you have one of these that you’d be willing to sell, please please please PM me. Thanks so much for your help in finding Cooper Monkey!”
Within 2 hours – 2 HOURS!!! – parents from all over southern Ontario were helping me track down a Cooper Monkey. And before I fell asleep that night, two
moms angels had sent me photos of their little, brown, red jacketed Cooper Monkeys that they wanted to give to Addison. I’m not ashamed to say I cried. I slept like I did before I had kids that night. The next day I made my way to Ancaster and to Hamilton to pick up two Cooper Monkeys from moms who were happy to give them (give them!) to Addison. At the first house, my generous new best friend handed me the monkey and I hugged him. I hugged him. Truth is, I guess I had missed Cooper Monkey, too.
That night, Cooper was waiting on Addison’s pillow at bedtime. He had a note for Addison, that the 2nd mom had put in the bag when I picked Cooper Monkey up. I read this little note in the car on the way home, and again, I cried.
Addison found Cooper Monkey waiting for her on her bed at bedtime. She was so happy to see him again that she cried! So I cried too! Addison’s best friend was back with her and the whole family was thrilled.
Welcome Home Cooper Monkey. Fair warning, tomorrow you’re getting an RFID chip implanted.