Nounours has become a very important part of our household. Nounours is almost as old as I am, which is saying something and was and is my original teddy bear. How he survived all these years defies the imagination and how his music box still plays the ‘Lullaby’ song is nothing short of amazing.
He is truly ‘real’ when you consider the tenet put forth in ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ by Margery Williams. It was a stuffed animal that was so used and loved that even his exterior was rubbing off. That is very much the state of ‘Nounours,’ who is even missing an eye. This book was a favorite of mine growing up. I don’t ever remember anyone ever reading to me, but once I learned to read, I became a voracious reader. I was not a joiner of many things but every summer I went to the Parma Public Library and enrolled in the book club, reading the required number and more.
I remember reading ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ and seeing how a stuffed animal that was relegated to being an extra toy became that very special toy that filled in emotional gaps that perhaps were not filled elsewhere. In my case, my youth was not one where I was constantly surrounded by parents with warm fuzzies. My father’s many illnesses that culminated in his passing away at forty precluded my having those experiences. The only person who really provided me with any of that happened to be my maternal grandmother, who became a favorite, and whose loss a week before Mary Kay and I got married was almost worse than losing a parent.
In any case, ‘Nounours,’ as he is now called, teddy bear in French, is incessantly dragged around the house, put into a stroller, put down for a nap, and just plain loved by the grandkids. A few weeks ago, he even experienced his first sleepover, going with one of the grandgirls home for the night.
Some things just don’t ever give up and don’t lose their usefulness. This one is particularly special.