This morning I read a post on the New York Times Motherlode parenting blog by KJ Dell’Antonia about a mother-young daughter team in NYC who repairs loveys with respect, love and care–all free of charge.
Rebecca Benghiat and her 7-year-old daughter, Amalia, run NYCLoveyRepair and write a charming blog about their “patients” and their work.
It made me think of the loveys that reside in our house, and the loving repair work they have received over the years.
Panda lives atop a dusty shelf in Daughter #2’s room–that’s him, behind Harry Styles with the One Direction boys.
Here he is. This bear belonged to my mother. Panda has been around as long as I can remember and must be at least 70 years old. As you can see, he looks nothing like a panda.
I recall trying to repair him when I was about Amalia’s age. I closed ripped seams on his stumpy appendages and attempted to mend his snout. Those long-ago clumsy repairs make Panda look like a mute Frankenstein. I love him anyway.
Winnie-the-Pooh was made about 45 years ago by my mother-in-law for my husband when he was a boy. She made the entire 100 Acre Wood gang: Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Tigger, Piglet and Winnie. Only Winnie and Roo survive. Winnie is in a rather fragile state, with his terrycloth body and felt features wearing away. Despite his fractured smile, he still looks upbeat.
Roo, who was constructed of more sturdy corduroy, hangs out in a cup holder in my husband’s car and enjoys riding with the top down.
I have no idea of the provenance of this bear. All I know is that he is old, belongs to my husband and sits on top of his dresser. You can see my repair handiwork along his sternum and neck.
This jaunty, one-eyed bear is the only stuffed animal my now-adult son has kept. I need to give him a new eye or make him an eyepatch (the bear, not my son).
Over the years I have repaired many loveys: blankets, stuffed animals, baby dolls and pillowcases. Like Rebecca and Amalia and all who wield a mending needle and thread, I find joy being part of a circle of generosity, gratefulness, and gratitude.