Sep. 17, 2012 at 12:25 PM ET
Weeper alert: A home video of a young boy being reunited with his long-lost lovey went viral this month, and it’s easy to see why it’s striking a chord.
It starts off in familiar territory: A kindergartener loses his beloved stuffed monkey, named "Ah Ah," on a family vacation; family searches frantically for it, then finally gives up.
But three years later, on a whim, mom does a search on eBay for “blue monkey” -- and up pops a stuffed animal that looks just like her son’s lost lovey. Bingo, a replacement!
Here’s the twist: When the blue monkey comes in the mail, mom realizes it doesn’t just look like his old monkey, it IS Ah Ah. Right down to the raggedly cut tag and the singed fur on top of his hair from when he was put in the dryer too long.
But the part that will get you grabbing the tissues is when the boy, who must be around 7 or 8 now, is reunited with Ah Ah. He starts to weep with joy and disbelief, hugging his lovey tightly, and you can just see the years fall away.
Sometimes it seems like childhood disappears as fast as… well as fast as a little blue monkey wanders off on a camping trip. You turn around, and your baby is walking into kindergarten, or your little guy is going into high school, or your daughter is leaving for college.
But even as they grow up, there are reminders of the way they used to be. The way your kindergartner snuggles into your neck when he’s sleepy, or the extra-tight hug your daughter gives you before walking into her new dorm without looking back: No matter how old, they’ll always be our babies.
That’s the real gift this dedicated and resourceful mom gave her son – and herself. She gave him a little piece of his childhood back, and that’s truly priceless.
Your turn: Send us photos of your child's cherished lovey and we may include them in a future post!
Have you ever gone to extreme lengths to find a lost lovey? Tell us about it on Facebook!
TODAY Moms editor Rebecca Dube wrote this post from the parents' room of her son's new preschool, while dealing with separation anxiety (her own, not her son's).
Note: The video has been removed from this story at the request of the family, who did not wish for it to be public.