Thursday, January 10, 2013

Winnie the Pooh

Photo Challenge Day 10 - Childhood

One thing came to mind when I read today’s prompt: Winnie the Pooh.  That silly ‘ol bear was such a big part of my early years and, to be honest, he still is part of my life today.

When I was a toddler, my body developed an allergy for a host of things:  Johnson & Johnson products, my mother’s lipstick, long-haired dogs and cats, and stuffed animals. Stuffed animals? My first taste of the bitter in life. What is a typical birthday or Christmas gift to a young child? Stuffed animals. What did I have to do with every stuffed animal I received? Give them to my sister. You cannot imagine the tears. Is it any wonder I learned to love books? Is it any wonder I fell in love with the animals in the 100-acre woods?  Rabbit, Owl, Kanga and Roo, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, and of course my favorite Pooh.

My mother would tell a story that she was in a toy store and saw towards the back of a shelf a plastic Winnie the Pooh. He was in a box and the cellophane front had been torn. He was so dusty but he was the perfect gift for you. The lady behind the counter couldn’t believe I wanted him but I knew he was special. 

I don’t remember what birthday that was but maybe my 5th? I wrapped my heart right around him, his glistening eyes, rosy cheeks and his cheerful smile. We became inseparable.  I slept with him every night for years, never minding his hard plastic body, just loving that my best friend was there, always there. This little guy went everywhere with me, even to college (though I no longer slept with him by that time) and he's lived in every house that I have lived in. My mother painted a portrait of him in 1972. I cherish that as well.  Good, it is so very good.

In his early the years, my best friend Pooh took some abuse. My brother burned his upper lip with a cigarette to get me where it hurt over something I had done that he didn’t like. My brother also stabbed him once, which is there is a bandaid is on Pooh’s belly.  That bandaid? Ancient. He was put in the toilet countless times and even hung from the ceiling fan by a rope around his non-existent neck. When people talk about issues they dealt with in their childhood, these are at the top of my list. But I saved him, dried him off, cleaned him up, bandaged his wounds and loved him through it all.
Pooh and I are together still.  He stays on a shelf in my bedroom. His faded and worn face so wonderfully familiar, so reminiscent of my mother’s love, of the Winnie the Pooh connection between us. He is my favorite friend, favorite story. One thousand stuffed animals could never replace him.
PhotoChallenge10 by groth.alison

1 comment:

Linda@VS said...

Oh, Alison. This made me smile, then brought tears to my eyes, then made me smile again. This photo is lovely, as is your loyalty to Plastic Pooh.