I remember growing up, I had a huge collection of stuffed animals; but, I never could get enough. Every time I would go to a store, I would see a new stuffie and I just had to get it to come home and join my menagerie.
As I got older, I knew the proper thing was to “outgrow” this phase in my life. I should turn up my nose at these childish notions…but, I never really could. Sure, I didn’t bring my luvvies to sleep overs with my friends (after all, what if they got left behind or something happened), but they were still in my life.
Some of my fondest childhood memories are of driving the hour back from my grandmother’s house with my father behind the wheel, and him reaching over to take my luvvie from my lap and pretending that the animal was driving. Those memories just make me ridiculously happy.
And yes, I was (and still am) the person who gave every animal a name, a voice, a personality, and had to buckle them into a seat in the car for safety. I have stuffies on my desk at work and when things get too stressful, I’ll give them a cuddle and a squeeze and they make me feel better.
So, when I learned that I was able to make luvvies myself, I was thrilled. The possibilities were endless. I was going to have so many new friends and my daughter was going to have so many new people to play with. It was going to be awesome.
Of course, I wasn’t taking into consideration the practicalities of this. Namely, our house is not large, and really our family only needs so many luvvies. But, each time I make a new friend, I think about each stitch as bringing me closer to meeting the finished animal. Although I’m a perfectionist and I hate to make mistakes, each mistake adds to the character of my stuffie – it makes them unique and even more special than they already are. Each mistake provides me a way to grow, a way to learn, and a way to get better: Those are hard lessons to learn, even at the age of 40, when I thought I would be wiser than what I am
And, even for the luvvies I know aren’t going to stay – those that will go on to new forever homes, they still are made with all the love and care that I would take if they were staying with me. Plus, I make sure I take a picture of each one, to remember what they looked like. They always will be special to me and loved.
So I guess I never really grew all the way up. I still cling to my stuffed animals – I sleep with at least one each night, and now I can make them and be sure they have humans who love them as much as I would. I guess, in the end, I’ve now found a way to share my love of stuffed animals with a larger audience, and that is definitely a wonderful thing.