I got the doll when I was seven years-old. I think it was bought at a mall in Boston, but it’s hard to remember. It was my version of a teddy bear. This miniature bugs bunny doll. Brand new. I slept with it every night and took comfort in the way I held it, in the way it stayed on the pillow beside me.
I spoke to this tiny doll about my problems. I was little, but I guess I was still processing the experiences of being a young girl in a big world.
Children may hold on tight to the things that make them feel safe. Things that are familiar and constant. Maybe it’s a stuffed animal or a blanket or a doll. And it makes sense. While they’re living their daily lives, maneuvering their way through school and friends and growing up, it’s only natural that they take solace in their own version of a teddy bear. Whatever that may be and in whatever capacity.
As time goes on, we don’t seek out the warm and fuzzy ‘teddy bears’ that have become a source of comfort, of familiarity. We let go of the stuffed animals, the blankets, the dolls. We can sleep on our own. We can talk to others about our conflicts, or we can work out what we are going through ourselves. We no longer need them anymore.
I found my bugs bunny doll the other day. I could have gotten rid of it years ago. After all, it’s been years since I played with it. It’s been years since it rested on the pillow beside me. But why didn’t I? Why have I held onto that doll, along with other remnants of my childhood? Why do we still hold onto the things that do not embody a distinct purpose anymore? Why do we sentimentally preserve parts of our past? Maybe we need to remember who we once were and where we came from. Maybe we save them because we don’t want to forget.