For Lene
Friday October 06th 2006, 4:55 pm
Filed under: Friends,Non-Knitting

Some days just need a tiger hug, and this one’s for Lene, my friend over at Not as cool as the real four-month-old tiger cub she once got to hold, but it’s what I’ve got.

One of my earliest memories is of watching in huge excitement as my dad opened up his suitcase in the middle of the living room rug. He’d just gotten home from a trip to Europe; I’d missed him fiercely, and he told me he had something in there for me and something for my little sister. He’d toured a stuffed animal factory in Germany. First, he pulled out my tiger. (There is no Steiff ear tag; at some point in my childhood it must have mortally offended me, so out it went.) Then a koala for my little sister.

There were many stuffed animals along the way over the years growing up, but none with the power to comfort like my tiger. Mom used to hold him up to the light at bedtime so there would be glowing cat eyes in the dark, always watching over me and keeping me safe. Now, as in any parent/child relationship, he’s in his old age and I’m the one keeping him in good care.

As I do my friends, to the best I can. Hey Lene. Consider yourself tiger hugged.

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Your post brought back memories! my father took a business trip to Germany for a month when I was a kid and he brought me back a Steiff monkey! I loved that thing too. I think somehow when we were kids we had less stuffed animals and they meant more to us than kids these days. I still have my monkey.

Comment by Allison 10.07.06 @ 7:46 am

Cool. And good for your dad–I could just see him crossing paths with my dad in that factory. You know, Rachel Remen, one of my favorite authors, writes in one of her books of a small boy whose young parents had just nothing; his favorite toy was a matchbox car. He played with it everywhere, and gave it a personality and everything else an imagination could add to a lump of mobile metal. She writes that one of the gas companies was giving out matchbox cars with a fillup, so she recruited the other doctors and nurses to make the rounds and accumulate the whole collection for him.

And his reaction to the great grand gift was to be upset. “But I don’t know how to love this many cars!” He didn’t play with them much, and then he quit playing with the original one, too.

I try to remember that lesson of enjoying what I have more by accumulating less. (Okay, before that sounds just way too self-righteous, um, don’t look at my yarn stash when I say that…)

Comment by AlisonH 10.07.06 @ 10:48 am

Ahhh Alison, I just love that little tiger of yours…and the lovely story that goes along with it!!
I still have to have a stuffed animal that I see from time to time. I say that they will be going to our grandaughter…..someday. Mostly though, I just walk by and give them a big hug once in a while. I know that mostly… I need that more than they do!!
Thanks for sharing!!

Comment by Sheila E 10.07.06 @ 1:21 pm

I don’t remember if I told you this — I have a collection of stuffed animals that I’m currently editing down; word got out that I love teddy bears, and for a few years, everyone I knew gave me a cuddly of some sort, and I had exactly that problem. Christmas, my white teddy from last Christmas before my parents divorced had a place of honor on the bed, but suddenly there were all these other animals crowding around her…it made me dizzy. So a lot of them are going to the hospital for the peds unit.

The other smiley part of this story — Robb was looking at the animals that I AM keeping, and said “I wish I had a bear in with yours.” He didn’t have animals growing up, he had his blankie (which is still on his pillow). So for his birthday, I got him a Superman teddy bear from BuildaBear. 🙂

My hero.

Comment by Kristine 10.08.06 @ 6:27 am

Thanks so much – and without claws, too! 😉

My favourite (and for a long time, only) stuffed animal was a dog called Lady (after Lady and the Tramp, naturally). When its predecessor got lost on a trip to the woods with my kindergarten class, my grandmother bought Lady for me a day when we’d taken a trip to Sweden. It was love at first sight and she was with me for years, saw me through some really bad periods. My other grandmother sewed a dress for her – one that she still wears.

Comment by Lene Andersen 10.08.06 @ 9:25 am

Cool, Kristine, you know that that Robb of yours is a peach.

And hey, Lene, don’t tell my guy those aren’t real claws, you’ll break his tigerly heart.

So your Lady is a memory from when you were little of your grandmother acknowledging your grief and comforting you in the loss. And your other grandmother acknowledged how real Lady was to you by sewing for her. No wonder she was your favorite. You’ve been able to always keep both grandmothers there with you by having Lady present.

Comment by AlisonH 10.08.06 @ 9:36 pm

[…] one, soft, cute, easy to hold and cuddly.  What Susan probably didn’t know is, remember my tiger? (He’s in this post too.)  My sister got a koala at the same time, so, koalas bring back […]

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