humans behaving beautifully, kindness

A Frown Turned Upside Down

When I was around three my mother took my sisters and I to a flea market, where (to my mother’s horror) I latched onto a bedraggled worn out teddy bear.

She tried all kinds of wily ways to make me let go of the bear and consider some less worn out options, but I was immovable. It was love at first sight.

Well over half a century later, I still have the bear and I am still incredibly fond of him. Who knows what attracts us to things or why?

Being a highly imaginative child, I named my teddy bear…Ted. Ha. Sarcasm. Ah, well. Ted it was and Ted it still is.

When I was seven I got the mumps and was down for the count for a couple weeks. At one point I did the unthinkable. My mother went to tuck Ted in beside me and I pushed him away, saying fretfully, “Even Ted is sad and sick. Look at him! He’s always frowning!”

My mother quietly took Ted away and then returned a few minutes later, holding out a completely transformed bear. She had clipped the two black strands of yarn that had been fixed into a downward frown and resewed them into a smile. I was appropriately astonished. I still remember the joy that brought and my laughter. I forgot all about my sore throat. Every time I looked at Ted, I smiled at his newfound cheerful disposition. I recovered soon after.

Today Ted lives on a shelf in our closet and every morning when I get dressed, we still exchange smiles and I am reminded all over again of that act of kindness by my mother all those decades ago. Of how a very small change can make such a very big difference.

It’s a good way to start the day.

Here’s Ted! The only difference in the Ted I latched onto at that flea market back in the 60’s and the Ted you see here, is his frown turned upside down. He was already almost furless when I found him. He has obviously been well loved for many, many, years. I wonder who loved the fur right off him all those years ago…

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