Over the summer fifteen years ago, my ex-stepfamily took our first and only vacation together. My stepdad made a tradition of taking his three kids on a two week camping trip each summer in a long term effort to visit every state with them. While I have jokingly mentioned that this particular trip made me never want to go camping again, it truly made a special memory for me as part of a dream came true during that trip. My stepdad made sure he took me to the New York Public Library to see the Winnie The Pooh stuffed animals in person.
For those of you who don’t know, Christopher Robin was a real person. Christopher Milne inspired his father A.A. Milne to write the original Pooh books. He based them upon the character the animals seemed to have and the imaginative play that happened in England, a spot my dad took me to visit ten years later, completing the dream. Lucky for me, though sad I was that they no longer resided in their original home, the stuffed animals were not too far from home or our other travel destinations. My mom pointed out the location of the stuffed animals, thus my stepdad knew how badly I wanted to see any of the original Pooh characters and sites, including going to England.
I got to meet the stuffed animals that initially inspired my writing passion. My grandma passed down nearly first edition versions of Milne’s books when I was in second grade, and I read and treasured them. That year for Young Author’s Day at my first elementary school, I wrote a story that revolved around Pooh Bear and Free Willy; I continued to write short stories about Pooh before I finally ventured into more original work and other styles.
Even when I was too young to make one of my dreams happen, I had someone there to make it a reality. All I had to do was express my deep desire to be in the presence of the greatness of the Pooh origins. I have treasured those people who have made my dreams theirs and helped make them a reality. Since then I have been blessed with so many family members and friends who spoke encouragingly to me, proudly shared posts I wrote, asked me to go to events (namely concerts) because they were meaningful to me, etc. Like the trip to the library to see the Pooh animals, I remembered those instances because a small dream came true and, more importantly, because someone loved me enough to get me there. I’ve always had someone by my side, helping me those steps.