Reverb Broads June 13, 2012 Prompt by Kassie: What was your favorite childhood stuffed animal or toy?
There are certain things for which a mother should never be forgiven, and surely one of these unforgivable sins is throwing away your child's comfort object be it a blanket, a stuffed animal, a doll or an empty soda bottle.
Had my mother not thrown out my floppy bunny, I would be an entirely different person from the timid, oversensitive, highly-strung, overweight, still-unpublished writer I am today.
Yup, I can pretty much say for sure that all my present defects can be traced back to that single thoughtless, unconscionable action on the part of my mother.
"The thing had become unsanitary," she'd exclaim in her defense. As if that should matter.
I don't remember when I acquired Floppy Bunny or who gave it to me. All I know is his limp, cuddly form somehow kept the nightmare demons from devouring me entirely.
His original color may have been blue, or possibly light grey, but for most of my early childhood he was kind of a muddy beige.
Why didn't my mother just wash him, for heaven's sake?
The day I realized Floppy Bunny was gone my self-confidence went POP! like a huge piece of bubble wrap when someone in heavy work boots jumps on it. My sweet compliant nature turned ferociously self-defensive. I began to eat compulsively. If someone asked me to do something I'd stick out my tongue or tell them to shut up.
My parents rushed me to a psychiatrist who instructed them to retrieve Floppy Bunny, but it was too late...
New stuffed animals offered by way of compensation were speedily rejected.
I knew I was doomed and my parents knew it, too.
When I grew up I became a stuffed animal addict. My compulsive purchases were not confined to bunnies either. My vast collection included tigers, elephants, monkeys, penguins, lemurs, and bears -- lots and lots of bears.
When I retired and moved from California to Northern New Mexico, I sold about half of my stuffed animal collection at a yard sale. It was the most difficult thing I've ever done and I wept copiously.
Once settled into a small efficiency apartment, I realized I didn't have room for the twenty-seven stuffed bears I had held onto...
At the present time, they are all confined to a large box inside my storage unit. I'm thinking of spending the night there once or twice a week just so they know I haven't forgotten them.