#369 Bear, Chicken & Choco (Toy Story).

We watched Toy Story 3 last night.
We went to my parents and we watched Toy Story 3 again tonight.
I am a glutton for punishment. This movie brought me to tears (sobs, honestly), because I can remember exactly how it felt to be little, to have your favorite toys (stuffed animals in my case), toys that you absolutely could not sleep without, eat without, travel without, LIVE without.
They were my best friends. Sometimes, because I was a little different from the other children—I was very introspective, very tenderhearted, imaginative and interested in books and dinosaurs and science, my stuffed animals and my parents were my only real friends in childhood. They were never mean to me and they always would sit beside me on the field trip bus (which is more than I can say for my classmates).
As far as my 5 year-old heart was concerned, my toys were just as real as you, dear reader.
After I got it together and quit crying, I wanted to take Ben upstairs to my toy closet, to show him my very best friends. They were a part of me before he existed in my world, and I think seeing things like that explain why I am the way I am better than anything else could.
There, he met Bear:
Mama thinks Aunt MaeMae got him from McRae’s as a bonus gift for her amazing sales at Christmas time. He was my dearest friend. Bear and I would lie on the living room floor together and watch the Mickey Mouse Club or Fraggle Rock. He accompanied me on stage in the 1st grade school play because I was too scared to go alone.
He has a few little spots of matted fur where I dropped glue or candy on him then quickly tried to clean it off. I’m sure I cried about that too. At bedtime, in the terrifying darkness, Bear assured me that nothing could hurt us. We were safe and sound.
My next best friend was Little Chicken:
Every morning, I would go into 5 alarm panic looking for him—“Where’s my chiiiiicccckeeeen?” I would wail, then mama would find him just below the bedskirt where he’d landed in the night. My little Chicken went everywhere I went, clutched in my left hand while my right clung to Blanket (which I still sleep with—get over it). Chicken came from Coach House Gifts in the mall, and was likely a replacement for the live chicks daddy often brought me from our farm. They never lived long, but that was okay since Chicken would live forever.
Then Michelangelo, of course:
I never cared for orange but he was the funny one, you know? He has a pencil mark on his chest from where I was drawing in the back of Pappaw’s pickup truck camper on the way to the Odom’s house for a playdate with Annalee. I accidentally stuck him while I was readjusting on the floorboard.
I once dropped a Sugar Baby on him, and it’s still there in his smile.

Ben’s favorite stuffed animal, Choco, found a home at my parent’s too. Since his family moves so often, it’s easy to lose track of things. He thought it would be safest to keep him in my bedroom.
Choco came with a little white t-shirt with the Milky Way candy bar logo on the chest. In an effort to toughen him up, Ben took off his t-shirt, and tried to cut his fur into a little mohawk on top.
Choco’s left leg is longer because Ben would swing him by his leg to use him as a weapon against Tom and Sam. The stuffing is coming out a little at the seam, but otherwise he’s in good shape.
Have you visited your toys lately? I just know it’d make their day if you did. I know it definitely made mine. I may or may not have brought them home tonight.