He used to be a soft, velvety pink. He used to have two eyes. My childhood stuffed animal had button eyes made of sapphire glass; shiny satin ears that stood up straight and bent into different shapes, because 50 years ago, wire in children’s toys and button eyes weren’t a choking hazard.
Bubby, my own 50 year-old stuffed bunny now faded to a sad silly-putty gray, is at the bottom of an antique chest at the top of the stairs, ironically hidden under extra-long twin sheets for college dorm rooms saved for the next kid we ship off.
Bubby was my childhood lovey, and yes I still have him. And no I don’t sleep with him and rub the satin off his ears while sucking my thumb, but I’d be lying if I told you if I dug him out right now, the urge wouldn’t hit.
I wrote about my kid going to college and leaving her stuffed animals behind, and here’s a little inside info: Bayba is real, pictured here, but Blankey has been fictionalized to protect the innocent.
What’s not in the essay: this happened after the Sandy Hook shooting when my oldest kid’s grief spun out of control, and she desperately clung for something from home. She was in college, three states away, isolated, homesick for the cool, calm, comfort she used to think of as home – recognizing faces and places of her faraway town depicted on the 24/7 news channels and social media feeds and at a loss of what to do or how to do it.
My essay was picked up by Grown & Flown, the popular on-line magazine for those with tween, teen, college/young adult children. They’ve syndicated my work before, and have been very generous sharing my stories on their crazy popular Facebook page. This is my first time being a first timer for this successful sight for empty nesters, or soon to be empty nesters.
You can read it here, and I’m grateful for any comments and shares. Very grateful.