Before the words “Teddy bear” were ever coined, I’m sure that these cuddly stuffed animals had a place in many a child’s heart. Certainly after 1902 when the President of the United States Teddy Roosevelt, refused to kill a bear, the stuffed “Teddy Bears” became an even bigger fad. For that matter “fad” is probably not the best way to describe what happened with these stuffed animals, because fad suggests that the interest after a while faded away as many fads today do. The Teddy Bear though, has managed to live throughout the years and is still one of the most loved toys in the whole world.
The first gift we think of getting a new baby, is their own “Teddy”. There are many today of different shapes and sizes from tiny cute little bears that fit into the palm of your hand, to ones that are so large, they almost need a room of their own. They come in a range of colors from white to browns and beiges and then to bright colored ones that follow the Care Bears phenomenon.
We have stories written about them from Winnie the Pooh and Teddy Ruxpin and the whole Care Bears stories. We can’t get enough of our beloved bears. There are songs that children learn to sing and days at kindergarten where they are encouraged to bring in their favorite bears for the annual Teddy Bears Picnic.
The beauty of Teddy Bears is that children connect with them and they become attached to the point of wanting and needing their bears when the stresses in children’s lives becomes too hard for them to bear (no puns intended here).
Teddy bears are safe “friends” for youngsters when they have witnessed horrible things like fires, car accidents, and other heartbreaking situations. Many therapists will use Teddy bears as part of their therapy with children.
I know even my granddaughter this past summer, when she was suffering from appendicitis, took her Teddy Bear to hospital with her.
When she had blood drawn, the nurses would draw blood from the bear too! When she was decked in her hospital gown, there was a hospital gown for her bear too.
Anytime the doctors came in to check on her, they would also check on the bear too. Bandages were always handed out in tandem, whatever happened to her, happened to Alfie (her bear).
Police, Firefighters, Social Workers, and a host of other people who deal with tragedies every day, have spare bears available just in case there are children needing some comfort.
Who would have imagined that the lowly “Teddy Bear” would have such an impact on our lives?
I know many grown-ups who still have their teddy bears from the days when they were little kids. Over the years, those bears have been loved so much, that many are missing fur spots and are as bald as their owners.
My own Uncle has a collection of bears that number at least 40. When he thinks about his demise, his first words to me are, “You will take care of my bears, won’t you?”
So I know that one day my collection will increase by at least 40 bears, so they will fill out their room quite nicely……
Oh the stories those bears could tell. I’m sure they have seen and heard more than we could ever imagine.
As you can see each one of these bears has a character all his own. Each one is different and each are wonderful additions to a child’s bear collection.
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