In the midst of my frenzied cleaning yesterday, I found an old friend, practically a member of the family, shoved under my son's bed. He was stuffed way back in a corner with a lot of other...stuff...which I won't even mention because, really, you're better off not knowing. Trust me on that.
Because we recently watched Toy Story 3 for family Movie Night, I was very disturbed by this. I hated the thought of poor Ducky stuffed under the bed, wondering why C didn't love him anymore. Poor Ducky!
Ducky joined our family when my son was about a year old. It was just before Easter and I was at a local grocery store in Michigan, where we lived at the time.
My son, my baby boy, spied Ducky across the aisle and his eyes lit up. He grinned, and pointed. I picked Ducky up, and thought he was kind of cute. I let C hold him, thinking that I would distract him and put the toy down before we checked out. I didn't realize that my baby boy had fallen in love for the first time. He would not be parted from his Ducky for several years after that moment. When I tried to take Ducky away, his eyes welled up with tears and he sadly said, "Ducky, Mama, Ducky." Since Ducky was only $9.99, I caved.
And I have never, ever regretted it.
I never really understood why The Boy was so attached to Ducky. He had many, many other stuffed animals - bears and monkeys and dogs. They were OK, but Ducky was...Ducky. He was special.
Ducky was C's constant companion when he was a toddler and small child. He was C's comfort and his best friend. Ducky knows all of C's secrets and his wishes and dreams. He slept with C all through his childhood.
Every. Single. Night.
Ducky accompanied us whenever we traveled, wherever we traveled. C told him stories. When he learned to read, he read Dr. Suess books to Ducky.
He's held up well, this $9.99 grocery store duck. He's gotten muddy and gone through the wash. He's been coughed and sneezed on and gone through the wash. He's been loved so much and so well that his little tuft of white fur (feathers?) on the top of his head is matted down and his fur (feathers?) is faded and his stuffing is a bit lumpy.
He was a permanent fixture on top of C's bed for so many years, that I am ashamed to say that I didn't even notice when he disappeared. Although he didn't carry Ducky around everywhere, he still revered him and treated him with respect. He was still placed in the spot of honor on his pillows when he made his bed. Finding poor Ducky shoved under the bed like a dirty sock (and with a few dirty socks, among other things) was a shock.
I rescued Ducky from under the bed yesterday. I dusted him off and placed him atop C's pillows on his bed. And then I picked Ducky up and kissed him on top of his faded, dingy yellow head before placing him once again in his spot on C's bed, where he belongs.