April 07, 2007

he's not just all about candy & eggs

When I was little, my bedroom was a small village of stuffed animals. I loved them, and I believed that each one was real and that they all came to life when I wasn't around. Even before hearing The Velveteen Rabbit, and MUCH before Toy Story was ever a glimmer in Disney's eye, this was my childhood belief.

One animal in particular was, and is still, my favorite - the leader of the pack, the chief of the tribe. He was small in stature, but what he lacked in size he made up for in kindness, friendship, and wisdom. All the other animals looked up to him (well...down, but you know - figuratively up) because they knew that he was my most admired animal. And there was no jealousy because...well because they are stuffed animals and this is MY story and MY childhood, so there was no jealousy amongst them. Only harmony. :)

Sam was given to me in 1984 during the summer Olympics. In the moment we were introduced we became instant friends. Inseparable, genuine BFF. He went everywhere with me that my parents would allow, and he was always left in charge of the other stuffed animals when I had to leave the house for school or church or birthday parties.

Years went by and Sam earned the merit of a worn and tattered complexion; the tell-tale sign of a child's true affection. His yellow beak smudged with an era of kisses and tears. His soft brown fur resembled worn shaggy carpet. And the red, white, and blue-striped covering of his trademark hat unstitched at the seams to reveal a hard, plastic hat-structure that threatened to undo the magic that I believed was held within. The dingy yellow beak I hardly noticed. The brown shaggy fur was nothing by which to be alarmed. But the unravelling of the hat, hanging by a thread, revealing the Bald Eagle underneath, was more than I could bear, and I began to mourn the loss of my friend.

One Easter morning I woke to find no Sam beside me. But being Easter morning, I had other exciting treasures to keep me occupied. Easter morning always meant wearing a brand new pretty dress to church. It meant ribbons and eggs and candy and baskets. But this Easter morning was going to mean much more. For in my basket, proudly watching over the candied eggs nestled in green plastic grass, was my Sam - sewn up and repaired, magic still intact.

I didn't know the Easter Bunny had a sewing kit, or was so domestically-inclined. And I don't know if the Easter Bunny ever knew how much that gift meant to me. But maybe, just maybe, if he reads my blog, he may know now.


At 11:10 AM, Blogger Diana said...

Of course "he" knows . . . always has . . . always will.


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