I must have been five or six when my teddy bear came into my life. I was at my Great Grandma's house and she suddenly became aware that I did not own a teddy bear. This was a tragedy to great for her to bare (hehe, get it?) so she went and dug this treasure out of her toy chest.
I was in awe. My child's mind was running and curious. For me? To Keep? You're sure? But he's yours? Great Grandma insisted I keep it. Wow! Thank you!
She asked what I was going to name my teddy bear, and I could feel the pressure of the importance of this decision upon my little shoulders. "Sam," I proudly proclaimed, "but, he's a boy Sam, not a girl Sam." Yep, that's right - I gave my teddy bear my own name. Come on, I put a twist on it, I wasn't completely unoriginal.
Oh, how I loved Sam. I swear I felt that love reflecting back. That is how I knew he was alive. No, he didn't talk, but he could feel. Gosh, darn it, he was a person!
We've had some fun times, Sam and I. Alas, it hasn't all been rainbows. He's been through some tough times. Old age, has not always been kind. No, his eye patch is not just for show. Unfortunately, the dog had mistakenly identified him as a chew toy on a few occasions resulting in poor brave Sam loosing an eye. He has been the subject of multiple surgeries & re-stuffings by my mother's loving hands. The poor thing is wearing so thin he is beginning to leak stuffing (foam that has dried and appeared to turn to sand) hence the band-aid.
My brother and I, being the sadistic little brats that we were, would attempt to use Sam in efforts to send my mother into a panic for purposes of our own enjoyment. We'd wait for the opportune time. She was in the bathroom, her defenses were down, her view limited. We ran up to the bathroom door. My brother shouted in a panicked voice, "Mom! Mom! Sam's ear is falling off!" She didn't skip a beat, "Don't worry. I can sew his ear back on." Much to our dismay, my mother wasn't fooled, she knew we meant teddy bear Sam, and not her only daughter Sam.
I took him to college with me. It wasn't as though I was childish and couldn't live without him. I just didn't want him to get lonely. I took him for him, not me. I'm selfless like that. ***Sidenote: It's a pretty handy thing I never really worried about being "cool" and couldn't have cared less what other people thought of me, cause I'm pretty sure bringing your teddy to college makes you the weirdo.***
When it came time to come to Australia, of course, I had to take Sam. My dad even gave me the Michigan shirt off his dancing wolverine's back, because he thought Sam might miss Michigan.
So, when it comes to an object that makes me feel at home, Sam is so much more than that. He's not just a teddy. He is love. He is family. He is home.
Labels: Expat Blog Challenge, Love, Teddy Bear