1. Describe an important item from your childhood.  Why was it important and where is it now?   (Ryan Andrew Kinder, 1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts)

The single most important material item from my childhood would have to be my teddy bear.  While my response is not very unique, my teddy bear certainly was.

I was three years old, Christmas was approaching and for the first time, I was really starting to understand what Christmas meant – Santa, presents, cookies.  As most parents do, mine asked me, “What do you want Santa to bring you?”  Consistently, I replied, “I want a yellow teddy bear that jingles!”  In my head, I imagined a large fluffy yellow bear – about half the size of my three year old self – that had a jingle bell sound whenever he moved. Perhaps I was being difficult and testing the truth of Santa, maybe I was combining some of my favorite things: Winnie the Pooh and music.  Whatever was behind my desire, I knew with certainty it would be under the tree on Christmas.

Needless to say, Santa came through.  I opened a pastel yellow teddy bear – slightly smaller than I imagined – with the softest fur  I had ever touched, and a jingle sound from its belly.  He stayed under my arm all day.  Getting ready for bed, my dad turned to ask me what my teddy bear would be named.  I looked at him, looked at my bear, and said the first thing that came to mind, Bear Bear; the least creative name ever bestowed.

Bear Bear became my go to.  When I was sad, he got squeezed and covered in tears; when I was scared, I’d crawl under the covers clutching him in my arms.  I could not sleep without him for years.  He was at the top of my emergency run away list; if there was a fire, he was the first item I would grab.  Bear Bear went on every weekend trip to Grams’, every vacation, and even went to college with me.

He is currently in my guest room, where he matches perfectly with the yellow and gray decor. Unfortunately, he is tucked into a drawer because I have two dogs who love to shred things.  His fur is not nearly as soft, having been washed dozens of times.  He sometimes has a more grey than yellow appearance.  Nonetheless, even 22 years after opening him, I still find him when I am upset and don’t want to talk to anyone, or when I am homesick.

What is an important item from your childhood?  Do you still have it?  I would love to hear about it!

-M.R. Gavin



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