The Tale of Baby Teddy
As I approach my 59th birthday and inspired by the prompt for Day 20 of Writing 101, I have to write about someone who’s been with me through it all.
Baby Teddy, One Good Bear
Baby Teddy today looks much the way that I remember him since I was old enough to form memories. His appearance is beyond “shabby chic”, he went through a lot in his early years. There are no known pictures of him as a young Teddy so we can’t be sure what he looked like when he first came into my life. Diminutive in stature, about 9 inches tall, I’m guessing his name came from his small size but it could be because I preferred teddy bears to baby dolls. But I digress.
I’m pretty sure we don’t even know who gave him to me; I suppose it doesn’t matter. He claimed my heart and in spite of my parents trying to entice me with a Winnie the Pooh bear (which I loved, don’t get me wrong) and numerous other pretty fluffy stuffed animals, I wouldn’t part with him. I think they were embarrassed by his shoddy exterior. It didn’t matter to me.
Baby Teddy’s Disappearance
This was a tragic day, I was about three years old. Carrying him with me everywhere, I remember awaking from my nap only to realize he wasn’t with me. Where was he? I searched, I sobbed and was completely devastated. This went on for several days and I wasn’t getting over it.
One evening, my Dad came home and called for me. With puffy eyes, I stumbled into the living room, looked up and stopped in my tracks.
“Look who I found walking through the flower garden” he said, holding Baby Teddy by the paw. Not noticing that he was worse for wear, his eyes sewn back into place, the majority of his fur missing, I hugged him with all my might and sure enough, he smelled like flowers. It was a miracle and at age three, you just accept miracles without questioning them.
Baby Teddy never strayed again and was with me through all the highs and lows of my youth, my teens and had his fair share of tears cried onto his tiny shoulders as he gave me comfort.
The Family Secret……..
Many years later, I was at work and fell into a daydream thinking of Baby Teddy, remembering his mysterious disappearance many years before and his trek back to me through that flower garden. Now an adult, it occurred to me that there was clearly another part of that story that had remained a family secret. And I had to know what the truth was, no matter what, no matter how hard it was to hear.
I called my Mom. “Hi” she said in her cheery voice “What’s up?”
“What happened to Baby Teddy, I have to know!”
I’m sure she was caught off guard (what, no hello?) Where was this coming from after so many years? She was quiet for a long minute. (I think she was suppressing a nervous laugh) But I’m sure she knew this day would come.
“Well, you carried him everywhere” she began “Everywhere. Even into the bathroom.”
She went on to say that I’d placed him carefully on the toilet tank and that when she next went in, he’d taken a plunge – into the less than pristine toilet. While I was sleeping, she’d fished him out and taken him to the trash.
Then I woke up from nap time and all hell broke loose. I began the search and was in such a state that she and Dad made the decision to discreetly rescue him and put him through the washing machine. That explained the eye mishaps and the nearly total loss of fur. Apparently, they next placed him somewhere to air dry, high enough that I wouldn’t discover him. (I imagine after they saw what the washer did, the dryer might have been the end for him.) Dismayed by his appearance but seeing that I was still distraught after several days, they came up with the “walk through the flower garden” story, first spritzing him with perfume and reunited us.
“You threw him in the garbage???” was the first thing that I said thinking, “arghhh the humanity!” (I’ve always been a bit dramatic)
Sometimes you just can’t handle the truth.
Here is a picture of my Baby Teddy today – still with me and holding a million memories and secrets, one good bear.
Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure
Today’s Prompt: Tell us the story of your most-prized possession.
It’s the final day of the challenge already?! Let’s make sure we end it with a bang — or, in our case, with some furious collective tapping on our keyboards. For this final assignment, lead us through the history of an object that bears a special meaning to you.
A family heirloom, a flea market find, a childhood memento — all are fair game. What matters is that, through your writing, you breathe life into that object, moving your readers enough to understand its value.
Today’s twist: We extolled the virtues of brevity back on day five, but now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and turn to longform writing. Let’s celebrate the drawn-out, slowly cooked, wide-shot narrative.
If you enjoyed this, check out: https://spencesgirl.com/2015/06/17/like-my-dad/