Gratitude · In Life · In Memories

The Loyal Bear

Happy 1st day (well, 1/2 day) of Christmas break to me! I am a high school History teacher (because History and high-schoolers are the bomb.cominest). So, the deal with this is that my whole life I have wanted to write. It is still my goal- to one day write and publish a book that people enjoy. So, “what’s the problem?” you might ask. There are 2 “problems” (more like difficulties, really).

  1. I am a teacher: As much as I love my job, teaching has this sinister little way of absorbing your whole life. If you’re not careful, it can creep into every crevice of life, stealing away time for friends, family, hobbies, goals, and dreams.
  2. I tend to write steam of conscious: Often, when I write, it becomes a crazy, free-flowing blob of words that takes on a life of its own. Sometimes that’s not a bad thing, but often I lose track of the important point of the whole thing.

In describing all of this- my goals and my issues- to my [awesome] sister, she challenged me to do some type of “___-day writing challenge” and she was even so generous as to buy a writing prompt book for me. She suggested that I practice planning and writing a blog every day for a month, but let’s be fo’real, sometimes (especially for me) it’s just better to start small, so here it is! My goal for this is to post no less than twice per week. Sometimes my writing will be based on one of the prompts from the book, “1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts” by Ryan Andrew Kinder, but sometimes they’ll be based on things I am experiencing, thoughts on books I’m reading, things I’m learning, or *heavenforbid* something controversial I’ve been stewing on for a while. So…here goes nothing!

Topic 1 (Source: “1,000…”): Describe an important item from your childhood. Why was it important and where is it now?

Honestly, when I read this prompt, only 1 thought came to mind. No matter how hard I thought about it, this was the only thing I could think of- Baby Buddy. Baby Buddy was the teddy bear a friend of my mom’s gave me 6 weeks after I was born and he has been with me ever since. He is a sailor…okay…maybe more like a retired, rugged, worn-down sailor, but he’s been with me through thick and thin, and bless his poor little heart, he doesn’t look like he did when he was “younger”.

BabyBuddyOther people would probably look at him with some slight tinge of disgust. His fur is matted, nose is completely gone, eyes are damaged, and he probably (definitely) needs a good cleaning and new change of clothes, but to me, he is a treasure.

He is important to me because, growing up, he was my “best friend.” He went with me everywhere, including my kindergarten school pictures, and he “knew” every one of my precious secrets. If he got “hurt” I made sure he went to the “hospital” (aka, Grandma’s house to be sewn back up). By the time I was in late-elementary school, he was so threadbare (I REALLY wanted to insert a pun there- threadBEAR-ha! Get it? Okay…done) that you could see through to the stuffing inside. It didn’t matter though, he was my treasure. My grandma was even willing to do “surgery” on him to give him a new body and new clothes. When I got to the age I knew and understood that he was just a toy, he was still my comfort. He soaked up the tears from broken hearts and disappointments. He was with me through sickness and joys. He “graduated” and got a college degree with me 😉  and even had a special place at my wedding. Despite the fact that he is just a stained, worn out, old toy, he is probably the most valuable inanimate object I own (next to my Bible) because he is a link to so many good and bittersweet memories in life.

Pictured in his tux on our wedding “history” table, in the pic just below where he is sitting, and in another to the bottom right of my senior portrait- clear example of his involvement in my life. 😉


Today, he is not the one I go to to vent, cry, share my joy and excitement with, but he is still a comfort. Today, his place is at the very head of the bed, squished (poor thing) behind my pillow so when I go to sleep, arms under pillow on my stomach, his sailor suit, cool to the touch in my hand, brings me a sense of peace and calm as I doze off. Yes, I know, it is probably super ridiculous to most of you, but when you and your hubby are on opposite schedules, you only see each other 30 minutes each morning, and you often go to bed alone, it’s just nice to have a bit of comfort and security in your hand.

I think it reflects, too, the power and value we place in the people and things from our childhood. Sometimes those items are connected to hard but necessary times that need to be reflected on and learned from; but sometimes they’re like a tired, old, loyal bear, dragged along by his precious little human. Sometimes our childhood toys are supposed to be sweet, gentle anchors to the good times. They’re the good times we carry with us forever and remind us of who we are and where we have come from and what we have been through.

What about you? Share a pic or describe something important to you from your childhood- why does it mean so much?

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