Meet Bodie. My 14 year old daughter’s bear. She named him on her own at age two. Not knowing anything about Bodhisattva, and if I’ve ever seen an enlightened relationship between one creature and another, it’s with those two. I bought him when she was in utero because my father-in-law gave me some money for shopping, and I was in New York, and I thought, “My God, when am I going to have the dough to buy Steiff for my kid.” I coveted Steiff as a kid. I had one small small lamb that my mother gave me, and it’s one of my prize posessions– house is burning down kind of beloveds. I love those hard, mohair stuffed German animals. Love them. But they’re expensive. So I blew that $$$ in FAO Schwarz and it just so happened that the kid who came out loved/loves that bear. Bodie has been all over the place with us. He’s a well travelled bear.
So when I picked my daughter up after a week of sleep away camp this summer, she looked at me, about to be a freshman in high school, and said, a plain, impassioned: "Bodie broke."

In my mind it was code for: "My childhood is ending and I'm going to be okay."
Was I okay?
Not really.
Until I saw what she had done with Bodie.
She had packed duct tape. And gauze. All on her own. What 14 year old girl packs duct tape for a week at camp? Mine, turns out. I was so proud.
She and her bunk mate doctored Bodie. And here he is. Maybe in his finest hour. I'm told you can send them back to Germany to be sewn back together. No way. This is what we will go into her teens with. This is Bodie. And he will be our guide.


Filed under Little Hymns to Montana, Motherhood, My Posts

12 Responses to Bodhisattva

  1. Natasha

    I have a Steiff horse from when I was a baby. I’m 38 years-old now. :)

    His eyes were chewed off by our Akita when I was 16, and I sewed over the holes (in an attempt to fill in the space and make round shapes) and put black marker dots in the middle for pupils. His front left leg is broken and he can’t stand up, but he sits comfortable with the teddy bear from my childhood – the teddy bear who needed new paws, so my mom cut pieces of a yellow dishtowel and shaped them to fit…whose music box is broken but I never cared about that very much…who was “kidnapped” at overnight camp by some creative counselors who broke my heart until I got him back again.

    Bodie rocks.

    • lauramunson

      I can just see this horse. I think we all need to read the Velveteen Rabbit again. You horse sounds very “real.” Thanks for the image. yrs. Laura

  2. Maple_Fan

    Thanks for sharing this! My 14-yr-old daughter never bonded with stuffed animals or dolls, but I can completely imagine this scenario with my son who has wept over torn “soft animals” many times. He had hearing loss at an early age and thought “stuffed animals” were “soft animals.” He packs black electrical tape rather than duct tape, but the result would be similar. Precious moments like you shared make the other painful teen moments worth it, right??

    • lauramunson

      yep. today she made me breakfast in bed however, so I’m holding on to that (and the bear)! Thanks for sharing back atchya! yrs. Laura

  3. Bodie is looking good. A very wise bear, lumps and all.

    • lauramunson

      He’s been to the Caribbean, Italy, Canada, twice to Mexico, once to Hawaii, and all over the US. If Bodie could only talk…

  4. OK, so I used to sleep with a stuffed Aslan, the one from “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrode”. A friend made him for me. He went all the way to Amsterdam with me when I was 36 years old. I now sleep with Tigger. I am 48. May your daughter and Brodie live on together for many years… :)

    • lauramunson

      I still have my Eloise and my Snoopy, so I get it entirely. Snoopy’s nose is hanging on by a thread. yrs. Laura

  5. Janis Schmier

    Beautiful story about tradition and coming of age!

  6. Janis Schmier

    Oh, this reminds me of when I was little and had a Chatty Cathy doll that I loved. She had the prettiest dresses. But after awhile the seams down the sides of her body separated and I was heartbroken. Her clothes didn’t provide enough support to keep her innards together. Using my ten year-old brain I devised black electrical tape underwear for her, complete with suspenders for her knickers. That served its purpose for the rest of her lifetime.

    Wish I still had her!

    • lauramunson

      Janice, my sister had a Chatty Cathy doll. I used to play with her after she was in similar shreds after she went off to college. I can just picture your CC doll. Plaid pinnafore, electrical tape, and all. Oh the bleeding of little hearts. Thanks for sharing! yrs. Laura

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