Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Duck, Duck, Goose!

The photo here is representative of ‘a picture of something that means a lot to you’ and I know what you’re all thinking -- ‘A duck? Really?’ but let me assure you its not just the duck.

I don’t know exactly when my mom knitted the ducks in question, possibly before either of us were born, but this red white and blue duck was mine and my sister received a pink and brown duck. If Wendy weighs in over here I’d love to hear if she still has her duck somewhere. Let’s just say hers got a little...um, floppy.

This little guy was probably one of the only stuffed animals I ever had that didn’t have a name, he’s just duck. And he’s definitely a he in my mind. Not sure why but to me all ducks are male. He used to live in my doll cradle.  Sadly, I have no idea what prior learning experience I lost the cradle in, but I somehow managed to hold onto the duck.

When I said it means more than a stuffed animal its true. It’s something that’s always been in my life, a constant, and something that my mom made with her hands that lived in something my dad made with his. It’s kind of the representative of the short number of years that my parents were still together and happy with that arrangement. Before the fighting, the divorce and the moving of lives.

Namely ours.

So we moved from Humarock to Arlington. We moved into a second floor apartment. My mom paid rent and we frequently had babysitters at night. I had to make new friends at a new school, had to wear hand-me-downs because we were so poor there were food stamps involved, because of that I got picked on and bullied, I introverted something awful and started to hate life.

A shake up in your home life at age seven will do that to a girl.

I stopped sleeping with the duck at night. There was something about it that I felt needed to be preserved. Something that said, if I just left it happily sitting in its doll cradle, everything would turn out okay. My sister hugged hers to death I think. She wouldn’t even let my mom wash it, and believe me, the pink had all but turned to brown so it really could have used the wash.

When we moved to the house the duck of course came along for the journey. But here’s the interesting thing…beyond that, I have zero recollection how I still have this duck.

In the many (read: many, many, many, many, many, many…) apartments I’ve had over the years there have been a bunch of items lost forever to the prior learning experience apartment gods. For some reason though, duck managed to stay by my side through it all.

Obviously older, and happier for my parents not being together (which of course is a whole other blog for a whole other day), the same kind of significance I put on the duck doesn’t apply daily anymore. But it's always a good reminder of where I’ve been, how much my life has changed since then, and where I aspire to be in the future.

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5 comments:

i am ginger said...

I still sleep with my first Teddy bear. Kate had to repair him for me because someone's dog chewed him to death once.

Judi FitzPatrick said...

One bit of info - Wendy's duck was made first for her first birthday. You asked if you could have one, too. You even picked the colors!

I'm so happy to see you still have duck, lots of love in there. And I'm happy it brings good feelings now.

Love you, Mum

Bridgete said...

This little guy is awesome!

I think Panthro is the only thing that has made it through many, many, many moves from childhood on. I always make sure to pack him safely though. But yeah, I know what you mean about other things just...vanishing.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Isn't it strange how there are a few things we just don't allow ourselves to let go of no matter what? So glad you gals still have your first bears too!

Thanks for the info mum, clearly at 4 there was no remembering that haha! I do love duck, you know, quacking and uncooked :-) Hey did I get it right that dad made the doll cradels btw?

Rosebud Collection said...

I think that is a wonderful little duck..You know Jenn, I was always making toys for the girls and now grandchildren..You can't buy this kind of toy, because a part of the person that made it, is included..the toy has a life of its own..Made with love..
xoxRosebud/Carolyn