When I was young, my brother and sister and I had lots of Friends. You might call them stuffed animals in your house, but that seemed like such a horrible term to use for our dear companions. My sister was rarely out of the company of her hippos (Hippo and George, in case you were wondering) and my brother loved/mangled a few of his own, but I will spare his pride and not reveal their nature. (Cough, sputter…ET!)
I had several of my own, including some that were given to me when I was very young. There was a turtle named Speedy who was made of felt and finally disintegrated in the wash (and was kept alive in memory by Speedy 2, made of sturdier stuff). There was Blinky the elephant who had closed felt eyes and a trunk with satiny material on the inside. There was Swampy the alligator who came with me on a government field trip my senior year in high school and caused quite a ruckus when he decided to go to the hotel laundromat along with the sheets, causing panicky phone calls to Housekeeping.
One year my brother and sister and I gave a Friend to our Dad. That was Hobbes (a tiger, of course). Hobbes decided to accompany me to college and has stayed with me ever since, although I’ve sensed a transfer in attention towards Ellie. (I’m okay with that. Really. I am.)
I’ve loved seeing the same appreciation for Friends in my children, and I’m delighting in another aspect of the special love children can have for their soft companions. Often, I’ll find that one of the children has decided that one of their friends needs to spend some time with or near me. Katie often stages her 3 bestest friends on and around the spinning wheel or the knitting, and one of them has been spending the night with me for the past week or so. Andy’s Monkley usually follows me around throughout the day and returns to his own bed at night. Jonathan’s Tigger almost always makes an appearance when I’ve got a migraine. Ellie will bring her Friends with her for a snuggle, and sometimes I’ll wake up to discover that one of her friends trekked over to my bed during one of Ellie’s early morning bathroom trips. Sean was accompanied on his latest business trip by one of Ellie’s and one of Katie’s Friends.
It’s very sweet.