A Boy and his Bear aka Teddy’s Triumphant Return

Teddy’s Triumpahnt Return was originally published nearly seven years ago in a blog that recounted my parental leave adventures at the time. I stumbled across the photo below just the other day and it made me think of the post. Really, who can resist a teddy, or any stuffed buddy for that matter?

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Then last week, the kids, my papa and I all went to see the Paddington Bear movie. We laughed and laughed and laughed (I must see it again). Paddington was one of my mom’s favourites too and that’s saying something as she had quite a collection (spot Paddington in the photo below). She would have loved this film and would likely have ventured to darkest Peru just to see it.

We donated most of Mom’s bears to the local children’s hospital where they were auctioned off as a fundraiser… Dad kept Paddington and a couple of others. And now on with Teddy and his Triumphant Return.

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He’s back from San Diego an incredible journey for a young bear cub. Triumphant might be a bit of a stretch as our errant Teddy arrived in cardboard packaging with one corner caved in. Two weeks cross-continent by ground transportation. It must have been a harrowing trip. Our heroic Teddy alone in the dark and literally all boxed up brought to our door by Canada Post.

I couldn’t get Ted to talk about his re-entry to Canada. He didn’t have any papers. I don’t know if he was searched, or detained at the border. His lips are sealed about what I can only guess was a traumatic experience. We’re thrilled that he’s back where he belongs – well almost. His best buddy Noah-David is 1,000 plus kilometres away. If there’s no change of plans, they won’t meet up for hugs and cuddles until next Wednesday.

Sad to say that the Noah – Ted long distance reunion didn’t really go according to plan. Maybe I should have known better. I told Mélanie about his arrival earlier in the day on a phone call. I asked her not to share the news with Noah when he woke from his nap. I wanted to be the hero and show off Teddy on a video call.

I flashed Teddy on the screen very early into our Skype call. Instead of, “papa, papa” in ecstatic tones, there was an immediate meltdown, anguished sobs and inconsolable, free flowing tears. Try as we might, we couldn’t turn the situation around and instead ended the call. Mélanie was able to comfort our Noah-David and this morning when we spoke he talked about Teddy in a confident matter of fact voice. Eight sleeps until he sees Teddy and papa…..

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It didn’t take Teddy long to get back into the swing of things. With Noah temporarily out of the picture he had no supervision (I was too busy at the keyboard, or on the phone regaling people with the news that he was back in town). Not surprisingly he got up to a few shenanigans.

First off was the rather unsubtle remonstrance about how he got home. I still don’t know how he did it but he managed to stuff himself into the mailbox pretty much thumbing, well I guess pawing, his nose at me. The message was as clear as a pristine stream – why had I chosen such an unceremonious means of getting him back to Halifax? If the plane was good enough for the trip out to San Diego, why wasn’t it the transportation of choice to get him home?

Next he got himself stuck halfway up a tree in the backyard. Being a domestic bear he didn’t have the necessary skills to get himself back down. Shortly after his rescue he commandeered one of Noah’s cars for a spin. That nearly ended in disaster. Luckily for all of us I came out just in the nick of time to prevent him from careening off the deck into an ignominious wreck in the flower bed.

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He seemed to be taking a page from Yogi Bear’s mischievous suite of tricks, or maybe trying to emulate the adventurous Paddington from the darkest jungles of Peru. I’m hoping that after today’s escapades he’ll lean more to the philosophic Winnie as a role model and see the value in close friends and simple pleasures.

These bears have created quite a stamp on the popular imagination – from plush, stuffed buddies to starring roles in cartoons – let’s not forget Little Bear and his nuclear family. And then there are the ubiquitous teddy bear picnics held in cities, town and villages across North America and teddies’ connection with a famous American President.

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They are fine friends for little boys and girls. We’re so happy that Ted has come home. I’m looking forward to delivering him into adoring arms next week in Sorel, Québec. We’re glad that teddy’s accidental loss didn’t wind up with him going to the wild side.

A google search on teddy bear racks up 46.2 million hits. Seems like teddy bears are here to stay.

Many thanks to Dave at Point Loma Hostelling International in San Diego for getting Teddy back home to us.

P.S.

What was your favourite plush toy when you were a kid. Did you have a teddy, a tiger, a dog, a turtle, a lamb, a frog?

I remember a blue teddy from my own childhood back before I started school. I don’t remember him as new. His fur was worn, his limbs had lost their stiffness. His eyes though never lost their shine. They were glass – black in the centre with a surrounding hazel brown ring. He was stuffed with straw and I think he had an embroidered smile. I can’t recall the emotional bond that we had but I’m sure we were companions looking out from our vantage point at the big, big world beyond.

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Teddys of the world unite.

2 responses to “A Boy and his Bear aka Teddy’s Triumphant Return

  1. I have a bear that was given to me as a baby and has been in my life since. As an adult I also acquired a labrador puppy who unbeknowst to me, snuck up the stairs, grabbed Ted off my bed and proceeded to chew his face off and distribute his innards around the bedroom. When I discovered the grisley scene I was so upset I phoned Mum (what else do you do?) then gathered up all the bits and sent them post haste to her with a big red cross on the packet! Ted came back to me somewhat scarred from his experience and with extensive facial remodelling, but still the same Ted. I still have him, now safe from puppy dogs – he turns 50 this year!

    • Deb – this is a heart warming story. Thanks for sharing. My old blue ted is long gone though I have some sweet memories. Some of my Mom’s teddies were given to the kids and I have a couple myself. They are great little buddies. I’ve posted your comment on the PlayGroundology FaceBook page too. Cheers, Alex

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