I’ll be honest…I have a lot of memories of disappointments in birthdays and Christmases as a child. I’m not sure if everyone does – and we just never talk about it for fear that we’ll have to face that our kids are probably disappointed too – or if I was just a greedy little shit as a kid.
I remember wanting a Cabbage Patch doll and getting a generic one instead and being SO DEVASTATED. FYI – I finally got a Cabbage Patch doll as an adult. I never got all of the My Little Pony ponies that I wanted. I remember asking for this sweatshirt with Opus the Penquin on it (I was a weird kid), and Dad admitted he waited too long and they were sold out. Then there was the fact that Dad was always very open about his budget for us – $100 for Christmas and birthdays. So, when we asked for expensive things, we knew that meant less of everything else. I was thrilled the year I got my coin ring (COIN RINGS!), but since it cost $75, I didn’t get much else. And that kinda bummed me out.
So…the disappointments are very clear in my memory. Which officially makes me the greediest kid ever. I AM AWARE OF THAT.
Then…on my 10th birthday, my Dad bought me a stuffed Ewok. While I liked Star Wars as a kid (didn’t we all?), it wasn’t something I asked for. However, I was a stuffed animal girl. I had a few that I liked but that Ewok? I loved it. I took it everywhere that a 10-year old could take a stuffed animal and not be persecuted. I was obviously too old to take it to school, but I took it on trips and even took it on a Senior retreat in high school. It came with me to college and to my first rental house. I finally stopped sleeping with it at night when became a Mom, I think my kids became my comfort animal.
My Dad would wake me up in the mornings for school, he would come in and grab the Ewok and animate him for me. He’d make the Ewok punch me or smack me in the face to wake me up. The Ewok would harass me until I got out of bed. For obvious reasons, the Ewok reminded me of my Dad when I was missing him away from home in college and beyond.
When my Dad was sick, I found myself sleeping with the Ewok again every night. I actually slept with it for a year after he died. It just brought me comfort. But then I let myself move on and tossed it back in with the zoo in my kid’s rooms.
The last few weeks have been hard on me for a wide variety of reasons. I’ve had a lot of time with The Sads. Sometimes I’m holding back tears for whatever stupid reason (The Red Dawn trailer made me cry, people. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?), or maybe I’m just bawling my eyes out in my car for no reason whatsoever. It’s been weird for me because – while we all have our down moments, our down days – mine have never extended beyond a day or two. This has been a new depth of anxiety and sadness. YAY! FOR NEW THINGS AND EXPERIENCES!
Last night I broke out the Ewok again. I thought that maybe it would help ease my mind, my heart, and help me sleep. And y’all? The second I curled up with that raggedy bear-like thing? I felt my spirit just calm down. Maybe it’s the idea of Dad, but I think it’s just that the Ewok has been my source of comfort for so long, that even when my sadness is not directly related to Dad, it still brings me that comfort.
So – here I am – 37 years old and last night I slept with a 26-year old stuffed Ewok. Am I officially losing my mind or are there other adults out there who find comfort in childish things? Did I go from being a shitty, greedy kid to a certifiably insane adult?
Oh – and in case you didn’t realize this – the proper answer is: “No! Of course you’re not losing your mind! What you’re doing is completely normal! Carry on! And wow! Â you look great today!”