Wednesday, November 19, 2008
When I was about 5 years old, I was given a creamy stuffed teddy bear. It was one of those old style teddy bears - short arms and legs, big ears - in other words, oddly proportioned. Out of the 3 other teddy bears I had at the time (Father Bear, Mother Bear and Baby Bear), this one was my favourite. I believe my brother named it Polar Bear because it was "white" (it was more of a creamy colour actually).
My childhood wasn't much of a childhood. There were a lot of tears. I was blamed and shamed in just about everything I did. If it had nothing to do with me, it was the constant fighting between my parents. My only comfort at the time was my Polar Bear. I remember whispering into his ears, telling him about the pain in my heart. He soaked up much of my tears. He would whisper back to me "It's OK, you'll be OK, I'm here".
Over time, his eyes fell out, and I would glue it back. His nose disintegrated until half of it remaining had to be sewed back on. And he lost his mouth (it was a red velvety thing). There were rips in his body, rips across its arms where it joined his body. These were lovingly sewn/stitched.
But I loved him all the same. I feel as if he got me through those rough years, that he had listened to me and offered me the comfort I needed. As I grew older, polar bears always remained very special in my heart. I have no fear of them even though I know they would rip a human being apart and eat them if they were hungry. But I love them to bits. Inside, I am still the child who was protected by a polar bear. Inside, I imagine that polar bears would always protect me from the blows of this world.