When I was a wee squidgen I had this little teddy bear that I loved with all my heart. He wasn't the best looking teddy with his squished face and worn out body, but I loved him and I honestly couldn't imagine life without him.
Although he was nothing more than mere material and stuffing, he knew all of my fears, my hopes and my dreams.
I swear he had feelings that Teddy, I was SO convinced of that and I was very VERY careful to always make him feel special and more loved than any of my other toys and teddies. Every night as I closed my eyes he would be in position with his head on the pillow next to mine.
I don't remember exactly how old I was when I stopped taking him to bed withe me, though I suspect it was probably around the same time I morphed into a major teenage pain in the ass.
My Teddy now lives on a book shelf at my Mum and Dad's house along with all the other precious Teddies that were once so loved by the individuals in our family.
Oh man, the stories those Teddies could tell. I have to admit that I still like to childishly imagine them all sitting around the kitchen table in the middle of the night, you know that magic hour when toys come to life, like a group of old Grandpas linking glasses laughing and reminiscing over a bottle of fine malt whiskey.
My Sammy has a teddy that he loves with all of his heart. Although it's not exactly a teddy bear as such, more of a weird alien looking creature that once upon a time resembled a Giraffe.
Giraffe has been with us since the day Sam was born. He was the special toy that his proud big brother Kai chose for him, a very precious welcome gift for his new baby brother. That Giraffe has been to every ospital trip, he too had his tonsils out and grommets put in his ears. He has accompanied Sam to sleepovers and holidays and just like my Teddy did with me, he knows all of Sam's fears, hopes and dreams.
About a year and a half ago our dog Milly (aka the chicken sausages) decided that Giraffe looked rather tasty and proceeded to eat his head.
Sam was beyond devastated and cried for at least a week straight.
Frantically I scoured the internet to find a replacement for Giraffe and although many different Giraffes were purchased with the hope it could be the one to fill the hole in Sammy's heart, none did.
He continued to hold that headless giraffe every night as he fell asleep until finally my mother, feeling her Grandson's heartache over his headless giraffe, stepped in and lovingly attempted some reconstructive surgery.
This is how Giraffe looks now.
My mum is going to kill me for saying this but Holy Shitballs that is one hilariously fugly looking excuse of a stuffed toy, and even though I know it is wrong, I can't help but laugh every time I see it.
But he has such a kind face, one that was stitched with so much love by my Mum and man that kid loves this Giraffe, wonky head and all.
He doesn't see the imperfections when he holds it tight because the smell of it is so perfectly familiar and safe and the way it's long neck nestles in the crook of his own neck, brings him comfort like nothing else can.
I suppose that one day this weird looking toy will proudly sit on that bookshelf with the other teddies, and my inner 5 year old believes that he will join the others around the table in the middle of the night, clinking whiskey glasses and sharing the story behind his scars with his well worn comrades.
Did you have a special toy as a kid? Where is it now?