Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Stuffed Bears

Meet my old Toddler Time Assistant. I had bought him at a "Bear Show" in southern Maine directly from his creator who had made him all by hand. When I retired from those Toddler Times, I drew this little portrait & found it today when I was searching for something else. I still do have the bear.
I drew this guy long ago when going through a difficult period. I was working with young children then, but I think he was more of a comfort guy for me in my personal life than a work assistant. Seeing it today I'm rather stunned by how much he seems to be reflecting the way I felt at that time of my life. 
Photographer Mark Nixon photographed old, worn & "injured" toy animals & posted them online after he saw the relationship his son had with a stuffed Peter Rabbit. It caught on & now there is a book, Much Loved, of photos & the stories behind them. He talks about how powerful the memories of this early bond are for many adults. My parents saved my Zippy Monkey who I just learned was from the Howdy Doody Show. It's weird how real he still seems to me today.  PS. The bear in Nixon's portrait above is 104 years old!

I wonder if you have stories of your old toy animal friends, or your children's...

11 comments:

  1. awww. i still have my very first stuffed animal - a small teddy bear with a music box in him that would play in my crib while i slept. i can still get the music box to play a little if i turn the crank by hand. :)

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  2. I do have a bit of story about my childhood bear. It was my pal as a child during the 40s. I had it until just a few months ago when I moved west and was slimming down my possessions. He was diffidently beat up and needed drastic repairs. I was exhausted packing and I took one look at him and decided he had to go. Now in retrospect it would have been wonderful to have him now and write of his travails as he went through his life with me. I found your post very interesting that such pals can be so important to us and reflect our life situations.

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  3. Alas, I have no bears (or other animals) of old . . . can not remember ever having any. Deprived?! Well, I probably just dragged one of my younger brothers around for companionship. :)) I love your bears above, and love the notion that your earlier bear drawing accurately reflected your feelings at the time. xx

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  4. When hubby and I were dating, he gave me a white Teddy bear with little red hearts on its belly for Valentine's Day. A few years later, when my first daughter was a toddler, she claimed that bear as her own and named him "Bee-tee" (she couldn't say Teddy). She slept with that bear for years! And now he sits on the bed in her college dorm.

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  5. Niestety nie mam misia, bo wolałam się bawić lalkami. Nie mam też niestety. Moje dzieci jednak trzymają zabawki z dzieciństwa. Syn misia, a córka słonia. Ja je dawno temu wyrzuciłam, ale dzieci je przyniosły z powrotem i mają pamiątki . Pozdrawiam serdecznie.

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  6. I still have my Teddy Bear. He traveled with me everywhere I lived. If I had to take one thing with me during all changing times, it was my bear.He never had a name , only my "nounours" , as we say in France.Still in my bedroom..:o)

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  7. Both are so cute.. even the one that was done in a difficult time..it is beautiful..
    It is good to know that eventually these times can pass.

    Look at your joy now.

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  8. Love the sketches of both of the teddy bears, especially the the one with the green striped cardigan. I never had a teddy bear, I did have a favourite doll which had a porcelain head and I can remember how sad I was when I dropped her and she broke.I can understand why people keep their teddy bears for ever.

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  9. Hello Rita,
    Wow, what a difference between these two sketches. Both are awesome. The second one is quite riveting! Even though it was a difficult time for you, he certainly is frame worthy. Picture says a thousand words....

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  10. it's interesting how our own mood and emotions affect how we see things!

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  11. Such a sweet, heartfelt post.

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Thank you for your comments! They mean a lot to me!