“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
These words from beloved author A. A. Milne perfectly reflect the sentiment that accompanies my childhood memories of his classic character Winnie the Pooh. I can remember sitting down in front of my parents’ old console television and watching the silly old bear stumble through sticky situations with honey bees and rabbit holes and blustery days. Those half hour specials were the highlight of my week, and I anticipated them with as much excitement as I would any holiday. Pooh’s simple charm and sweet innocence always made me smile, and no matter how much I giggled over the predicaments in which Pooh and his friends found themselves, I would always cry when the story ended. I just never wanted to say goodbye.
In some ways, I never did. Both of my kids grew up with Winnie the Pooh. The cuddly little bear and his pals from the Hundred Acre Wood danced along their nursery walls and paraded across their blankets. Pooh Bear books lined their shelves, and the whole soft, fluffy stuffed animal gang lounged in the corners of their rooms. Family nights often revolved around watching a Pooh movie or videotaped episode, and the warmth and contentment I knew as a child would, for a few moments, wrap around me like a comfy blanket. My kids adored the chubby little cubby as much as I did, and there are days, even now, when we’ll find ourselves recalling our favorite Pooh Bear moments and laughing at them all over again.
I believe that’s the secret behind A. A. Milne’s timeless treasure. Winnie the Pooh, the cute bear with very little brain and a whole lot of heart, continues to enchant and entertain because he reminds us of the simple beauty of friendship, laughter, and love. And though this adorable fictional character no longer graces the cozy places in my house, in truth, the happy times his adventures bring to mind are never far away.