Day 9: What was your favorite childhood toy?
I remember the day I got him. It was the summer of 1994, I was three years old, and my cousins from Germany were flying to spend the summer with my grandparents. At such a young age, I thought they’d look different from me, being from a different country and all; I pictured them to look like a stereotypical alien: bulbous head, round eyes, skinny bodies, and a green tint to their skin. Needless to say, I was relieved and disappointed when we picked them up from the airport and they looked just like any other human . . . but that’s besides the story.
We brought them back to my grandparents’ house, which is conveniently close to the airport, and we sat and chatted and ate almond cookies, which was about the only thing I wanted to do. I was three years old, I did not want to just sit and chat. My cousin, Lukas, a teenager at the time and equally bored, could see I was falling asleep, so he rummaged through the suitcases to present me with this stuffed rabbit. He gave it to me and I gave it a big ole’ hug and then went in the living room to eventually fall asleep on the big thing like it was a pillow.
When I awoke, I named him Haße (means “rabbit” in German . . . I was so creative) and we became best friends.
I remember I took him to the grocery store once. That was the only time I ever did. The rabbit was so furry that it had shed all over my mom’s black shirt. She said never again.
I dropped him in a muddy rain puddle once. I thought the world was going to end.
I took him on every vacation. Haße’s been to Florida, Washington state, Colorado, New York, Canada, Mexico, the Cayman Islands, England, and even Australia.
He was my comfort when the lights were turned out for the night, even for most of my college career.
Now, Haße sits in my room, an arm’s length away in case I need some comfort.
His eyes are frosty from all of the times I’ve dropped him on hard surfaces (never on purpose). He has a hole in his left paw. His fur is matted down from all the love and hugs over the years.
Loosing Haße would be like loosing a friend. He’s been there for me, through the good and the bad. He’s my comfort zone, my stuffed rabbit from the Homeland.