Monday, November 8, 2010

Velveteen Elmo

Jack's best friend is getting old.

Once soft and fluffy, his outsides are now matted and threadbare.

The hard plastic eyes he originally sported were replaced long ago with Sharpie-colored ping pong balls after hours of active play shattered them beyond what Band-Aids and cotton balls could still hold together.

He's been repaired, restuffed and restitched more times than we can recall. And as both his surgeon and primary care physician, it pains me to say that Elmo's long-term prognosis is not favorable.

Despite my extensive training and experience, there's only so much a stuffie surgeon can do.

So, for now, we wait...and hope...for that magical moment when the enduring love of a young child turns a beloved toy real. It happened in Margery Williams wonderful account from 1922, after all.

For Jack's sake, we're hoping for the same result since he's not yet prepared to say goodbye. They have, after all, been inseparable for years.

They've played together, shared a bedroom, traveled and had countless nighttime conversations at the end of a long day.

Elmo has been best friend, comforter, playmate and, occasionally, even a willing weapon in skirmishes between Jack and his sisters. He's camped with our family and enjoyed trips to Disney World, Santa's Village and Story Land, among other adventures.

In short, Elmo has lived a long life, a very good life.

And the stuffie that started out as a towheaded toddler's simple backpack before the straps eventually detached, has been firmly enmeshed into our family life as we've marked that toddler's growth to grade-schooler.

Margery Williams' magic still exists...of that I'm certain.

And one day soon, Jack will walk downstairs, hand in hand, with a lively, renewed and vibrantly red companion made real by his enduring love.


  1. Having seen Stuffie Elmo many times over the years, I can understand Jack's despair over potentially losing his best friend. They certainly have been through a lot together. May his memories get him through these difficult times.

  2. we still have Chester the Chimp - my husband's "elmo" and he's been around for 45 years. We even had his voice box pull cord replaced when we were in our 30's and he was the first thing we put in our son's nursery when I found out I was pregnant