Before there was Sir, there was Teddy. Babygirl received Teddy as a gift from an amazing man. Teddy’s job was to keep babygirl company, keep her safe, and keep her secrets. It took her a while, but babygirl came to depend on Teddy during the lonely nights.
At first, babygirl simply held Teddy every night. She curled up with him as she fell asleep, often waking up when he fell out of her arms. She kissed him on his soft nose every morning when she made the bed. He sat in a place of honor between her pillows each day until she came home and could relax.
She knew he was there to keep her safe and to keep her secrets, but she often felt silly talking to a stuffed animal, even one as important as Teddy. One night, something broke inside of her, a dam burst, and she finally learned to pour her heart out to Teddy. No judgement, no strange looks, just a soft place to tell all her secrets without worrying what anyone would think of her.
“Teddy, I’m so sad. I don’t know why.”
She wondered if she was really going to talk to a teddy bear. Was she really doing this? Each night it became easier to open up and let it all out.
“Will I be alone forever? Probably so. There’s no such thing as a fairy tale.”
She always held onto Teddy a little tighter after her late night confessionals, desperate to feel something in her arms. She tried to pretend she wasn’t alone and lonely. During the day, she carried on as usual – laughing at the right time, finding the bright spots in her day, talking to fun people, anything to keep up the bright, happy persona she created for the world to see.
One night, the night that formed her bond with a shaggy teddy bear, it poured out of her.
“I’m alone because I’m work. No one wants to work that hard. I know they don’t, Teddy. I can’t go out without working it out with a babysitter. There is no dropping by to see me, the kids might be awake. I’m so shy that I don’t even know how to talk to people. Why would anyone work that hard? Why would anyone decide that being with me is worth all that WORK?!”
She sobbed into Teddy’s soft fur, clutching him tightly against her. She believed in that moment she would be alone forever.
“By the time I’m done raising kids, I’ll be so out of practice, I won’t even know how to talk to anyone. I’m going to be alone forever!!”
Babygirl wept and wailed, convinced that this was her life. She convinced herself it would never get any better.
“I’m nothing and no one. I’m disposable. Everyone walks away. No one wants to stay forever because I’m too much work. I’m alone and it’s all my fault!!”
Teddy took the full force of her grief, unflinchingly. As her tears soaked his soft fur and her cries filled the room, his soft body molded to hers. She gripped him tighter, loving her Teddy more than she could have ever thought possible. Babygirl knew, no matter what face she put on tomorrow, her secrets each night were safe with him.
(((((HUGS))))) for babygirl. I know hope still lives inside her.
On a distracting note, I am so reminded of “The Velveteen Rabbit”.
Someone mentioned that to me the other day…it’s been so many years since I read that story. I think I need to re-read it.
Babygirl is a tough cookie, I’m sure of it.
A tough cookie with a soft, melty center?
The Velveteen Rabbit lives inside me like some other childhood stories: Raggedy Ann and Andy, Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie. Stories that are as much a part of me as where I was born and the homes where I lived, perhaps even more so.
It may be the most influential story in my own personal “fairy tale” – that belief that, if we love hard enough, anything is possible.
I think I used to believe that loving hard enough made things so…not now…I learned the hard way…
I’m sure that one day someone will realize how “worth it” babygirl is. She’s very lucky to have Teddy.
She is indeed.