As much as I complain about my menfolk’s tendancies toward packrattery, I have to confess that I am reluctant to part with possessions too. Tucked away in a secret place in my bedroom closet, I keep my childhood comfort toy.
This is George.
George has been with me since I was about five.
He was more than just a stuffed animal, more than a mere toy. He was my constant companion well into my elementary school years. He was my guard dog against the bogey man and monsters under my bed. He dried my tears when I was sad, and kept all my seven-year-old inner most secrets.
He went through the humiliation of being dressed in my dolls’ clothes, swaddled and carried around like a baby, and drooled on by a sick kid.
He underwent emergency surgery at the Mommy Hospital when our family dachshunds got a little jealous and chewed off his right eyebrow. And, he has a chronic seam wound, bleeding little bits of styrofoam occasionally.
The hardest thing I did as a kid was to voluntarily give up George. I slept with him until I was at least 10. I didn’t get a good night’s sleep for a week.
Even once I was able to fall sleep without him on my pillow, if I was sick or scared, convinced the monsters were back under the bed, I’d take him off my shelf and put him back on my pillow… just for the night.
Through the years, through every move, every new home, every new state, George made the move with me.
I’m surprised the he’s weathered the years as well as he has, and hasn’t completely disintegrated. Yet, like any good, true friend, George has stuck by me, thick and thin, good and bad, in youth and… not youth.
Maybe that’s why I still keep him, he reminds me that old friends will always be with me. A little worn perhaps, a little worse for the wear, but still there to listen to my sad stories, dry my tears or keep the monsters away.
*From the Vault of IMSO, originally published June 29, 2009; edited and updated.