You see, Teddy went to college with Michelle. Teddy slept with Michelle through her years at Towson University. There were stories about how Teddy was hidden from Michelle by the girls and guys, how Michelle might find Teddy the next day hanging from a light fixture or ceiling fan. Michelle was not amused.
Teddy made her way home with Michelle after college (How do we know Teddy is a she? Well, there's a hole between Teddy's legs from the seams popping, which made for some rather unsavory stories, according to Michelle's friends).
When Michelle and I moved in together, Teddy came along. And yes, Teddy still had a place in the bed. Teddy made it to our wedding, albeit in a duffel bag in the honeymoon suite. Michelle actually wanted to pin Teddy underneath her dress, but I think YaYa got the better of that argument.
Teddy is a world traveler, too. Besides going on the honeymoon to Jamaica (yes, ugh), Teddy went to London in high school and the Dominican Republic when Michelle and her friend Laura did some after college "discovery." Teddy's criss-crossed the country, usually in Michelle's pillowcase so she knew where Teddy was at all times. Teddy's been (to my knowledge) to Arizona, Seattle, California and every state on the east coast from New York to Florida.
Teddy's place in the house has always been by Michelle's side. In recent years, Teddy moved from the bed to the nightstand because Michelle was afraid that our dog would use Teddy as a chew toy. But every night, there was Teddy right next to Michelle. I don't think Michelle ever thought of a day when Teddy wouldn't be by her side.
The other day, Michelle noticed that Kaitlyn was holding Teddy. At first, she thought this was cute, since her daughter was meeting her Teddy. But then a funny thing happened. Kaitlyn started actually bring Teddy with her places.
So far it's been confined to the house. But when you turn around, there's Teddy lying on the floor, Kaitlyn telling Teddy to "Go to sleep," covering Teddy with a dish towel. There's Kaitlyn holding Teddy while watching Dora. There's Teddy in Kaitlyn's crib at night, my daughter's arm wrapped tightly around my wife's slice of childhood.
You can see in her face that Michelle is torn by this chain of events. After all, this is her Teddy, not Kaitlyn's Teddy. I'm sure that somewhere, sometime, Michelle thought she'd hand Teddy down to her child. But to actually see it happening has brought a gush of emotions over her. I'm sure she secretly thinks, Get your own damn Teddy.
So now here Teddy sits, on the bench next to the snowman, waiting for her girl to come home. Much to my wife's dismay, she's not that girl anymore.