Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A much-loved rabbit and a bear named Ted

Last month, I rallied the troops, hopped on the train and headed up to the suburbs to catch a live taping of Prairie Home Companion. The wine was chilled, the weather was perfect for picnicking and the company was even better the other two combined.

I also got to hang out with my favorite 2-year-old on the planet. (Who incidentally, is among the small-but-growing ranks of the few children I will voluntarily hang with. Kids don't like me. I think they can smell fear.)

Anyhoodles, little Miss Natalie brought her favorite toy with her, a much loved rabbit named , appropriately, Bunny.

All of this got me thinking about my favorite childhood toy. One of my first posts on this blog was about childhood books, which I could still write about ad nauseum. But favorite toy? Hum.

I'd have to say that was Mr. Bear, who later on was also known by the full name I gave to him: Ted E. Bear. (I'm clever, huh?) I'm not sure sure Mr. Bear came into my life, but I'm fairly certain I was 3. Or 6. Or something. Regardless, I got him while visiting my grandparents and he became a mainstay. I dragged him to summer camps and slumber parties, my high-school dorm room and my college apartments. Just for posterity sake, I even managed to smush him into my suitcase when I studied abroad.

Some 25 years later, Mr. Bear is still around, but in a way different capacity. His red bow tie is twisted has a big hole, thanks to an unfortunate run-in with the family dog. He's also sorta dusty, sorta deflated, sorta matted and sorta covered in errant Mutt fur.

A little worse for the wear, he's a great reminder of a terrific childhood. And he's something I'd love to pass on should I wind up having my own kids some day. (P.S. Should that happen, I hope they don't terrify me the way other kids too. That would go in the category of Things That Are Not Cool.)

So what about you? What was your favorite toy? Do you still have it? Do you wish you did? Spill....

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