Posted by: morrowsl | July 10, 2013



When my grandson was four months old, his parents and he moved from Arizona back to Texas. I was ecstatic and worked in a blind fury to get two of the bedrooms in our house cleared out and repainted in anticipation of their homecoming. They would be living with us until they found a home of their own.
Justin’s room is the smallest in our house and his furniture was just going to fit, so there really wasn’t room for anything new, but every time I went into a store, I found myself wandering up and down the aisles looking for things he might like.
He was four months old. He liked applesauce, a dry butt, and a bottle at night. It’d been awhile since I’d had a baby to work with and I was way out of my game!!
But one day I spied this little seahorse. It was really cute. It was blue. It had a smile and rosy cheeks. Upon inspection I learned that it also lit up and played music when you pressed its little yellow belly. Perfect!!

Justin was a rocked baby. None of us could resist tucking him under our chin and patting his little back to the rhythm of the glider. So Sammy became a rocked seahorse, singing along as J’s eyes began to droop and his little body grew limp. I always knew when he would be just about gone by the flush of body heat he’d throw off causing an immediate hot flash that had me rocking ever so much faster in hopes of stirring a breeze.
As he grew, the bond between boy and seahorse became so strong that he couldn’t sleep without Sammy, even in the car, so “spares” were kept on hand in case the original was left behind at home or a relative’s house. For quite awhile J would insist that you hold Sammy by the tail and flutter his top fin across arms, legs, face, and sometimes even his belly. Many nights my arms would ache from the combination of holding the ever-growing boy while I dangled the seahorse in the air!!
By the time he was four and had started Pre-K, Justin knew which was the “real” Sammy and which was the spare, although I’m pretty sure the original had long since been replaced. The real Sammy’s top fin was just so, and J would run his open palm over each seahorse’s head until he found the right one. He was still taking naps and needed a “sleep friend”, so Sammy started Pre-K as well. But I noticed that the music was turned off and suspect J was a bit embarrassed to have Sammy “sing” him to sleep at school.
Some kids suck their thumbs to fall asleep. Some twist their hair. Justin fluffed a seahorse fin. It was sweet to watch.

Every now and then Justin has opted to leave Sammy at home in favor of a new toy he wants to show off to his school friends. But always, Sammy was the mainstay for bedtime comfort.
But in the last few weeks I’ve noticed that Sammy has been home more than he’s been at school. And sometimes at night I’ll find him perched on the end of the sofa or lying in the floor in Justin’s room. It’s sad. Seeing him leaving his friend behind tells me he is growing up and no longer needs the comfort of his soft little friend.

Eventually, I check to make sure there aren’t any batteries in him, then I’ll pack Sammy away with the other keepsakes my daughter has set aside. The spares will go to a school or charity where other little boys can discover what wonderful friends singing seahorses can be.

I’m going to miss him…


  1. That’s a sad one. Even though I know it’s inevitable; even though I know it’s a good thing. But then I guess the reluctance of a grandparent to watch their babies grow is as natural as is that growing…

  2. It reminds me of the Velveteen Rabbit, and it made tears come to my eyes just like that book did. Growing up is so hard to watch, even though it’s your job to help them along the way.

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