When I was in kindergarten, I was shocked–SHOCKED–and appalled to learn that no, despite their utter cuteness and kindness, Carebears were not more important than Jesus. (And FYI, neither is George Washington, but that’s another story for another time.) I don’t know what kind of religious training I’d had up until that point in my life, but it obviously hadn’t done much as far as my 5-year old spirituality was concerned. I blame my parents.
I was obsessed with Carebears. I had one stuffed Grams-Bear (lame, I know). I had millions of miniature plastic ones. I had books and videos. I had a tiny cloudcar that I zoomed around my room and I even had a light-blue Carebear Hot Wheeler that I’d flip upside down and pretend to churn Carebear-flavored ice-cream with. But one thing I lacked: an actual Carebear. Yeah, I thought they were real. I’d have given anything for Tenderheart Bear himself to float through my bedroom window and bestow his ultimate Carebear wisdom upon me.
I lied. I threw tantrums. I fought with my sister and my friends–Nothing. Nada. Zip. WTF? Where the hell was my Carebear life lesson? When the arrival of a new baby sister failed to trigger a bedside appearance from even one of the lowlier carebears, I was pissed. My mom had even bought me a book about a girl getting either a baby sister named Katie or a little brother Joey, with a subsequent Carebear visit thus ensuing. It was then I took drastic measures and decided there was a monster in my closet.
I’m sure my parents were thrilled. At night, I’d sleep with a pillow over my head. I clearly recall screaming for my mom or dad, but I want to say they probably ignored me most of the time, because I remember cowering in the dark alone a lot more than I remember them actually coming to my rescue. To this day I cannot sleep in total darkness. I blame my parents for that, too.
But there must have been a time when someone told me about angels. I don’t know who said what exactly, but all of a sudden, I stopped hoping for the carebear and started waiting for my angel–male, named Henry, blonde hair, blue eyes, and pink wings specifically–to show up and blast my closet monster to Kingdom Come.
Well, obviously that never happened. Do I still believe in Angels? Of course. Carebears? They’re a no-go, although they did keep me happy for the first sixth of my life. Are Carebears the childhood equivalent of Angels? It’s possible–I am led to believe they all live in the clouds. I guess after a certain age even the Carebears have to call in a higher power. I doubt there was ever a Teen-Pregnancy Bear.
Evidently I’m still a little fuzzy when it comes to the details of religion. Some days I struggle with what to believe and how to believe it–other times I’m happy and fulfilled by faith, knowing that God is watching over me, the ones I love, and even the people I don’t love. To me, that’s as comforting as a Carebear in a cloudcar.
I feel away from God a lot of the time. And when that gets to me, I dig deep–and I find him again. Deep, deep down, past the love I have for my husband, past the hopes and dreams I have for my children, past the fascination I have with Fraggle Rock merchandise and progerics, past the gripping fear I have of tornados and aliens…I think He’s still there for me. And for believing that, I blame my parents.
And now, in conclusion, a SMACKDOWN: CAREBEARS VS. ANGELS
- Carebears are cute and cuddly. They come in assorted shapes and colors, and they have wicked-bad tatoos on their bellies. You can pick your fave. Angels, I’m to understand, can look like regular people. And regular people can look pretty fugly.
- Two things: Cloud Cars and Rainbow Racers. Though Angel Wings are equally sweet, Carebears have the added advantage of being able to shoot rainbows out their butts. Wait. Oh. Out their tummies. Even still–it’s a pretty awesome feat. Angels may or may not be able to do this.
- Carebears have annoying nasal voices and every so often will develop some weird Japanese accent. I don’t know for sure what Angels sound like, but I imagine the girls sound like Allison Krauss, and the boys sound like Darby O’Gill.
- If you see a carebear–Relax. This is just an indication that you are a small child with a small problem. However, if you see an angel, you are in some serious shit. Hope for the Carebear. I do know that, either way, if you have a monster in your closet, you’re screwed.