Today I’m thrilled to welcome children’s author Debbi Michiko Florence! Thank you, Debbi, for stopping by to share your #WhosYourLovey story.
Did you have a childhood lovey?
Floppy, a St. Bernard dog. As a child, I had many many stuffed animals. Like Lucy in your book, each had a name. Unlike Lucy, though, ALL my stuffed animals slept with me and each had a special place in bed (I hardly had room to move). Floppy was by far the largest stuffed animal in my collection, and he had the place of honor, right next to me and I’d fall asleep cuddling him.
What was your relationship with your lovey?
When I was 7 or 8 and visiting Japan with my family, we were wandering around a big toy store with my Ojiichan and Obaachan, my dad’s parents who lived in Hiroshima. I saw a big floppy stuffed dog and I picked it up and carried it around with me while we browsed in the store. It was almost as big as I was. As much as I wanted him, I knew better than to ask for him, so when it was time to leave, I put him back on the shelf and followed my family out of the store. When we got outside, my grandpa wasn’t with us. We waited and waited. When he finally came out of the store, he had that stuffed animal in his arms and he handed him to me! Even now as I recall that, I get teary. Growing up, my family was not very touchy-feely so that gift given so lovingly, and that he’d noticed I’d carried it around, meant the world to me. That floppy dog remained my very favorite stuffed animal throughout my life, and it was the only one I took with me after I got married.
My lovey was never really lost, but after I got divorced, I left it (and many other things) behind. So I don’t have it anymore. However happily, my daughter inherited it. She’s now in college, but she still has Floppy. The photo of Floppy here is of him in her room. He’s a little worn out but loved.
What did your lovey smell like and was it ever washed?
I never washed him. I’m sure he smells like a lot of things. I don’t recall now what he smelled like when I had him. I’m sure he smelled just fine!
Was your childhood lovey passed down to your children or did they connect with their own (different) loveys?
While my daughter does have Floppy, she has her own lovey. I gave her Spot the dog (from the books by Eric Hill) when she was a newborn. She carried that dog everywhere. At one point when she was 1 or 2, it was misplaced, so I replaced it. But to this day (she’s in college) she keeps him with her (putting him in her backpack when she travels). Several years ago, one of the dogs at her dad’s house chewed Spot’s face off. Her dad had it repaired and now while Spot looks a little rag-tag, he definitely is well-loved and unique. For some reason my daughter and I both connected with stuffed dog loveys. (I’m sure if I asked very nicely, she would return Floppy to me.)
Debbi Michiko Florence writes full time in her cozy studio, The Word Nest. Her favorite writing companions are her rabbit, Aki, and her two ducks, Darcy and Lizzy.
The first two books of her debut chapter book series Jasmine Toguchi will be coming out from FSG on July 11, 2017, with two more books to follow. She is also the author of Dorothy & Toto (Picture Window Books/2016), an early reader chapter book series.