My first teddy bear came from one of the members of the guitar group at church. It was a nice, homey shade of brown and, ever a lover of the cranky cat Garfield, I named it Pooky. He used to have a Christmas-y plaid ribbon tied around his neck, but somewhere after the hundredth time my mom stole him to give him "a bath" it fell off.
I do that now too. Whenever my little girl isn't looking, I'll steal her "Ninny" from her bed - all stiff and dingy from her sucking - and throw him in the "bath". She gets quite angry when she sees him hanging on the line to dry afterwards (if indeed she notices) but all is forgiven at nighttime when she sees that he's clean and "there's no dirties on his nose"!
I was 33 years old when I realized why I couldn't stay home from work sick without running either the dishwasher or washing machine. One would think that on a sick day, I should be excused from doing chores. But for some reason I couldn't just lie on the couch and rest until some cleaning machine was doing it's thing. And then it came to me: whenever I stayed home sick as a child, I would lie on the couch in the family room listening to the washing machine as I drifted in and out of sleep. I needed that comforting noise as an adult, too. I wonder how many other hold-overs I have from childhood...
It is not lost on me that I'm now returning to the faith that I was brought up in. Sarah Bessey beat me to it when she wrote:
But my roots belong where I was first planted, I've reconciled myself to that now. I used to think I could travel far from where I began, but instead, I traveled only to find myself home again, like Richard Rohr says, as if I am only now seeing it for the first time.I'm seeing my Catholic faith again, for the first time. There was a lot about the faith that I never knew or practiced growing up, that I'm learning about now (for instance feast days, or on a more bizarre tangent "bathtub Madonnas" - which I may or may not plant in our garden (should we ever get around to planting one...)). And there's a lot that I knew that I'm examining again (more on that to come). But each way you look at it, it's a return that I come to with a lot more learning, many more experiences and really, just a lot more life under my belt. It's from this depth of experience that I hope I can share with my children the joys and the beauty of Faith, that when they appropriate it as their own, they'll see that it will last them their lifetime long.