Well-worn and cherished

Constant bedtime companion

Childhood teddy bear.

I have a teddy bear that’s been with me since I was a baby.  I recall having a security blanket (cleverly named “Blankie”) up till I was about 3 or 4, when I lost it on the Metro.  After I recovered from the trauma, I took up with Teddy (I was a fairly literal child).  She’s been with me ever since.

Teddy’s certainly seen better days.  These days, my friends make fun of her.  Apparently she’s a bit… disturbing in appearance these days.  I know she is, really; she’s falling apart at what few seams are left.  It’s only a matter of time… But!  She’s like my mother–only I am allowed to make fun of her–and also unlike my mother.  With my mother, I see and know some of her faults, yet love her anyway.  With Teddy, I look at her and see only memories, comfort, history.  She’s still the bear I fed with a yellow plastic spoon, dressed up in a gray satin skirt, carried everywhere (and uh, still take on business trips… shhh).  She’s my childhood, my adolescence, my past, present, and future.

These days, I’m starting to come to terms with the thought that she may be on her last legs.  Her nose is gone, her stuffing is falling out, and most of her fur has been worn off with love.  There are big holes in her body that can’t be repaired (I know, I’ve tried!) due to the threadbareness of the fabric.  And yet, I have not really even thought about how life will be without my little bear. It seems almost unconscionable–she’s been with me this far!  How can she not be with me when I move into my own house?  Or get married?  (By the by, this may be a very effective means of rooting out less-than-desirable suitors–love me, love my ancient childhood teddy bear!)

My mother has her childhood bear in a drawer in her closet–perhaps it’s about time for similar preservationist measures.  I’m thinking a Futurama-style glass jar.