Like so many children, I had two very special possessions when I was little; my blanket and my teddy bear.
My blanket was a light yellow, silky quilted affair with a satin edge. I slept with it every night and called it Nonnie. It went on all of our family trips. If it weren’t in bed with me, I would cry. Until one night. We had gone to visit Mamie and Bumpa. I think we were living in Massachusetts at the time, so it wasn’t like Mom could run home from Western New York and grab anything she inadvertently left home. She was a careful packer, but as she went to put me to bed that first night, she realized that Nonnie wasn’t in the suitcases. She looked at my dad and whispered, “I forgot the blanket.” She decided not to say anything to me. She simply tucked me into bed, kissed me goodnight and left. I never said a thing. “Well,” reasoned my mother, “if she didn’t miss it, she doesn’t need to sleep with that blanket when we get home!”
From then on, Nonnie stayed with my dolls. I used it for years and years as part of my play things. Now flash forward to college. I was living in a three bedroom apartment with 5 other girls. My roommate and I liked to move our scant furniture around every once in a while. At one point, we put her bed in a corner against a wall and then put my bed perpendicular to hers, with the head of my bed against the same wall. She had a pink, quilted, silky robe that was made of the same fabric as Nonnie. One night, she laid it at the foot of her bed as we both went to sleep. In the morning, where do you think that robe was? Yup. It was wrapped around my head and neck and I found it between my fingers like I used to hold Nonnie. I was torn between embarrassment and hilarity. She kept the robe in the closet after that.
Teddy was the very original name I gave my teddy bear. He was about a foot long with a yellow tummy, brown fur everywhere else and glass, rather life-like eyes. I received him from Granny (dad’s mom) when I was a baby and I slept with him until I was 8. I had a rather odd relationship with Teddy; sort of a love-hate thing. I started out loving him, as one would love any toy received from a well-loved grandmother. However, events like watching too many scary movies (like Abbott & Costello meet Frankenstein) and having a rather damaging experience with a Peeping Tom, caused me to dislike the way moonlight reflected off Teddy’s eyes. By the time I was six, I had started throwing Teddy under my bed as soon as Mom left the room and my lights were turned off. When I was eight, I finally could stand it no longer and confessed to my parents that I couldn’t stand Teddy any longer and would they please stop making take him to bed each night. Mom was amazed that I would think I had to sleep with my teddy bear. He lived in my closet from then on, until he went to his final resting place in an old trunk.