When you’re really little, do you actually have a concept of the outside world?
Most probably not. Your memory is crap and you’re trying to work out why the hell the lower half of your body smells so much.
Even your mother was seen, by you at some point, as being a hunger-sleep-poop-extension of yourself.
You wake up, get hungry, make a bit of grumbling and suddenly this boob appears.
Did you conjure up this boob because you were hungry, or was it always there and just accessible because you’re hungry?
You’re your own god… making boobs, blankets, hugs and warmth appear and disappear at will.
And then… there is this really shitty day when the realization hits you like a smack on the ass.
The external world makes itself known to you, like a Doctor coughing quietly to get your attention, as you’re wondering if the skeleton in the corner of his office is really made of plastic…
You also find out your Mum is a total other being; capable of feeding, blanketing, getting hugs and warming herself, without you! You suddenly realize that the outside world is there, and that it can fail you.
Its the first time in your life that you can contemplate your own annihilation.
You hug your teddy bear closer and closer, but as you get older, society deems it necessary to take that teddy bear away and yell at you about standing up on your own two feet. Your teddy bear gets shoved further and further into the closet of your mind until You never think of it anymore.
Heavy stuff, for a toddler.
I want to tell them that it gets better… but really?
As adults, we just look for that ‘Mother comfort’ in external things, when the world doesn’t go our way; like alcohol, crap food on a Friday night, bad friends, worse partners, and horrible experiences.
We wind up with our heads in our toilets throwing up the contents of our stomach (from the alcohol, food, friends or a combination of them all,) wondering where we went wrong… when all we needed in the first place was a teddy bear.
I found mine the other week. His name is Bugsy.
He smells of moth balls and old clothes but still has that cheeky glint in his eye. I put him in the washing machine on gentle, then hung him out to dry. His grey, faded fur is slightly shinier. His whiskers still there but still rumpled, from where my sister smooshed them into a knot when I annoyed her once, and in a knot they’ll remain until the end of time. It adds character, I tell myself…
I’ll give him to my kids and show them how to love him, like their own. When shit goes down, it’ll be OK for them to run and get Bugsy, no matter how old they are.
He’s heard all my secrets and kept quiet about them, I’m sure he’ll do the same for them.