Thursday, October 11, 2007

Creatures of Comfort

My nine year old has a teddy bear that he has slept with since he was a newborn baby. Teddy has such a well-loved and somewhat fragile look to him these days. I've been wondering, how long will he sleep with Teddy? I will be very sad the day Teddy gets tossed out of his bed, no longer necessary in the night-time ritual.

Teddy used to travel with us. But one trip about four years ago, Teddy was in a suitcase that lost it's way and did not end up in the same airport we did. Of course, he was in a black suitcase that looked exactly like everyone else's suitcase. We filed a report with the airline and hoped for the best. The rest of the items in the suitcase were of no great value, we just wanted Teddy back. My son was heartbroken, his best friend was lost. At his urging, I called the airline several times a day until I reached a kind soul who went into the No Man's Land of Lost Luggage and starting opening black suitcases until she came to one with a well worn teddy bear squished inside. Oh, the relief! We were so thankful and relieved to get him back home.

I got rid of that black suitcase. I wrote a letter to the airline employee who went out of her way for a little boy (and enclosed a picture of him with Teddy). And we instituted a new rule: Teddy never rides in suitcases.

My ten year old also has a Creature of Comfort: a blankie. He might be embarrassed to admit it, but he still sleeps with Blankie every night. Blankie is very very worn and well loved. My son gets irritated when Blankie is in the laundry, and to be honest, I'm trying not to wash him much because I'm afraid he'll disintegrate.

My seven year old has Teddy-Bunny and a few other night time friends. They rotate in and out of favor, therefore are not nearly as worn. They don't get much time in the bed, usually falling to the floor.

My husband had a sweet Teddy bear when he was little. His mother kept it in a plastic bag and gave it to us years ago, when our children were still very little. At the time I thought it was a little odd that she kept this bear. Now I understand. These Creatures of Comfort, no matter how threadbare they become, hold special memories of our children.

I had two that I remember. One was a grey poodle, nearly as big as I, that I received from friends of my parents. The fur was very very soft. The other was a little hot pink and purple hippo that I bought with my own money at the drugstore. I named him Hippy and he went to school with me frequently, but never came out of my backpack.

What Creature of Comfort did you have as a child? What about your children? Use the pencil icon below to comment.


chigiy at Gardeners Anonymous said...

My eight-year-old has a spotted doggie named Dottie. I will also be sad when Dottie gets the boot. These things represent our kids innocence and that's why when they let go of their little stuffed friends it's hard for us to except.

Jeanne said...

My 9 year old has Sami the Lamby and Curly Bear (but don't tell anyone! She's a big girl now!) After she was born, my mother came across my own lovey, a pink bear with stitched on eyes and nose and jingle bears in the ends of her floppy ears. Talk about well worn! More like threadbear:-) Those loveys will bridge the comfort gap while you're away, Amber. Have fun, don't worry.

Kari said...

Hey, Amber
I know I am late in the game on this one, but it really hits home for us. Allison (9yrs) still uses her crib comforter as a blanket. Her stuffed teddy was mine growing up. When we travel, the kids strap their blankets around their necks, throw on their backpacks full of distraction toys and hold on tight to the stuffed animals. This strategy has taken us from St. Kitts to Chicago to Costa Rica. I cringe when I think of the germs carried along the way, but we wash as we can and keep our fingers crossed no one gets left behind!