Monday, April 02, 2007


I sat for a long moment at the end of my little boy's bed last night. It struck me how much of the stuff he truly treasures is little more than trash. He struck me quite a bit, too, with many of the items he keeps at hand.

It's all marvelously bright and tasteless and kinda shoddy. It never was much, and now it's all mostly busted up and in a sort of exquisitely arranged jumble. He picks through it all in an exact manner, each thing his friend and companion. They talk to him, and he talks to them.

I don't think it would be possible to arrange his things beforehand. You could not go to a store and pick them out. The things he cannot live without are usually some off-handedly chosen present from someone who barely knows him, if they know him at all. How would you know he'd want to play with a two inch tall Spiderman figure that has lost his lower body? Forty people, me included, gave him stuffed animals when he was born, and out of all of them he chose a Winnie The Pooh and chewed its ear off, a little at a time, while he was falling asleep. His mother had to perform a radical earectomy on the little little bruin, and our son just sort of placed the spot where the ear used to be near his mouth and carried on falling asleep with it. The other thirty nine still have tags on them.

In a thousand years, I could never part with that ratty doll. My boy will lose interest in it altogether, as his older brother did with the things of his infancy. Any stranger would just see a mangled, dirty ball of stuffing and give it the heave-ho.

Like all treasure, it's buried.


Patsy said...

Hi again!
That is so sweet and true.
My daughter loved 'big bird' the best when she was two--and the day he was lost at the grocery store, we all spent a very long night. He was soon replaced with 'Teddy'--and six months later we forgot Teddy at my sister's and left for the King Tut exhibit in Chicago. This was years ago, and while waiting to get into the Tut thing, we visited other museums. She was OK until the grizzly exhibit. Huge big stuffed grizzly in his most intimidating posture. Snarling, with huge paws up and ready to take off your head. She took one look at him, and in a very sad, small yearning voice, said "Teddy . ." and reaching towards him with her little hands before loosing it for the next couple hours.
Big Bird is gone forever, but Teddy sits on top of my computer cupboard, along with Puppy, her brother's fav.

Harry said...

We have our son's "Teddy" wrapped in his bedroom closet. For him it was the silken tag rather than the ear that he stroked to oblivion. He's a junior in college now.

It is our memories that turn this bit of trash into a treasure. That's what does it every time.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Some genius mom noticed that kids liked tags and so she made a fortune selling blankets speckled with tags.

Sip: Speaking of treasures...where's that toy box you're working on?

SippicanCottage said...

Pleasant stories. They all write their own in their own way, though, don't they. They are all identically different.

Ruth Anne, I like those taggie things. Somehow it reminds me of playing with the boxes the appliances came in when I was a child. Someone got the idea to just buy the box and get it over with.

The toybox is bound to be a famously popular item. I can't finish it because I have too many orders for existing items to fill first. I put a picture of my wife's Christmas present table on this blog, and I've got five orders for it already, and I don't even have it on the furniture website. Sometimes I think I could make IKEA look like a lemonade stand if I had more help.

You get first dibs on the first one,of course. That's if your kids aren't in college by then.

Anonymous said...

When our daughter was four, my husband and I dropped her and her little stuffed dog at a relative's home while we enjoyed an evening out.
The real dog in that house almost destroyed her stuffed dog. Our daughter was devastated and she wasn't one to overreact about anything.
I hope that my daughter always holds the memory of her father sitting up until 1 AM that night fashioning new ears, a tail, and carefully making her Puppy whole again. She's a young teen now. Puppy sits safely high up on a shelf but close to her heart.
-Deb in Madison

Ron said...

My best friend's 4 year old son asked me to get him a blue snake(stuffed) for his birthday as a companion to his snake "Zoocan." I was able to find kind of stuffed animal, which he has now named "Zinky." He will takes his mothers cell phone, call me(!), and put Zinky to the phone to tell me what's going on...once he called to tell me "Zinky had a joke for me," put the phone to Zinky, took it back laughing, asking me "wasn't that joke funny!"

Great fun this...