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For my entire life, I've had this stuffed animal - a teddy bear that I, creatively, named Teddy.  As I got older, I'd swear his real name was Theodore Roosevelt, after the president that my dad had told me invented teddy bears (whether or not that was true, I never quite cared).

He has one button eye (where my brother bit off his real eye, and my grandmom had to sew in a new one) and the fur behind it has turned blue, the way skin does beneath a cheap ring; and a nose that had to be glued back on by my dad after the boy down the street broke it off one summer night.  His fur is falling off in patches, and on his back you can see where he was sewn back together a couple of different times (once, by my aunt who carefully re-stuffed him one afternoon with material from her son's pillows, winking at me and calling it "our little secret"; and a second time when I did it myself in a high-school Fashion Design class, years after my uncle had died and we'd stopped hearing from my aunt).  Somehow, the little red tag that says he was made by PlaySkool is still intact after 21 years.

When I was younger, my parents would joke that whoever I married would have to share a bed with both me and my Teddy.  At the time, I thought that was perfectly reasonable.  For some reason, they never questioned when, after middle-school had started and most of my friends had put their childhood toys in the closets, I sill slept with my teddy bear.  Somehow, he had become as much a part of the family as our cat.

I never had a dog dare try to rip him apart; somehow, they knew that the aging teddy bear was off limits.  And when I lost him at the beach, the old man who found him went door to door at our hotel looking for the little girl who loved him.  Until middle-school, I never went a night without sleeping with him, and even after that only when I had to.

He was there through the worst year of my life, through first kisses and first break-ups, through bad test grades and the subsequent fights.  He was there when my best-friend and I fought, and when I couldn't decide what college to go to.  When I finally did decide, he went to college with me, even though by that time it seemed a little strange even to me (of course, my roommate had a stuffed animal, too and I realized that it wasn't that strange at all).

Somehow, he's always been there - through the last 21 years of my life; and somehow, I think he always will be.  Even when I'm married and can't sleep with my teddy bear anymore.  Even when I have kids of my own with teddy bears of their own.
He's a piece of me that I can't seem to let go of, even when I know that maybe I should.

What about you?  Do you have a toy or blanket from your childhood that you can't seem to let go of?


Super Sunday Sync

I'm linking up with Super Sunday Sync with Kelsey from Stories of Kel.  Join us? :)

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