The Care Bear Grumpy Bear. He was blue and soft and bear-shaped and sat on white shelves across the room from my bed. I had a bunch of Care Bears–Cheer Bear and Love Bear and Sunshine Bear and Lucky Bear and all that–and they all had these white patches on the stomach with a picture. Instead of a rainbow or hearts or a sun or a shamrock or whatnot, Grumpy had a perfect storybook storm cloud with little drops of rain falling from the cloud on his stomach. There may even have been a zigzag of lightning on there. I loved him best. Even if I couldn’t articulate it then, he was the most like me. I loved storms and thunder and lightning. I loved the rain. All the other bears were great but they sorta reminded me how my mom was always telling me to be more cheerful–even assigning me the line in a Girl Scout Brownie ceremony, “I pledge to be cheerful,” or some such. But I wasn’t a cheerful child. Grumpy got me in a way the other bears could not.
I thought that instead of posting some small excerpt from a longer piece (which can come w/it’s own complications at times) that is in the midst of being revised, I might post some short, self-contained responses to writing exercises. Not as polished, for sure, but there’s something to be said for that.
I’m taking a memoir writing class this term, and one of our writing exercises was to describe a familiar object from childhood, something you could see in your room, for ten minutes. Then we talked about the objects in small groups (my object prompted another group member to ask, “What does that say about you?” in a tone I’m not quite sure how to interpret) and discussed whether we could look them up somehow to verify our memories of them. I can but haven’t yet. I’m going to post the sample and then I’ll google image search it out and see how it measures up and include the pic in this post.
So, like I said, just off the cuff, no editing, no pre-planning, just, there it is.
What childhood object or toy do YOU remember? Freewrite for ten minutes if you want.
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