A big welcome to this week’s #WhosYourLovey blog series contributor, children’s author Annie Silvestro!
And now, here’s Annie and Sweetheart.
The great lovey of my youth was a dark brown, velvety teddy bear by the name of Sweetheart. I knew his name was “Sweetheart” because it was stitched in pink across the heart that made up pretty much the entirety of his belly. My aunt gave him to me for Christmas and I loved him immediately.
Sweetheart was sturdy but soft. Cuddly, dependable, and maybe a wee bit melancholy. He was tough, as evidenced by his heroic ability to soldier on after losing one of his hard, plastic eyeballs. And man, was he ever loved. Sweetheart fit perfectly under my arm and I wouldn’t sleep without him.
Admittedly, I had a brief dalliance with a white Gund polar bear that was amongst the softest stuffies I had ever held. But he was so soft and mushy he wasn’t substantial enough to hold under my arm at bedtime. Besides, his white faded to yellow-ish, while Sweetheart’s brown fur was perfect for hiding most of the messes we got into (alas, not so for smells, a la Lucy’s Smelly Baby!)
And even now that Sweetheart is no longer in my possession (thanks, Mom), just looking at his picture brings back all the warmth and love I had for my faithful friend growing up. I can still feel the pattern of the heart stitching on his feet that I would trace over and over with my fingers to help me fall asleep. Sweetheart was special. Important. Necessary.
Which is why, years later, when my son’s favorite loveys were accidentally left in the sheets of a hotel bed and then removed by housekeeping, I called the front desk in a state of panic. Thankfully, Pablo and Lola were rescued before my son was any the wiser. Nearly ten years have gone by and they still rest on his bed alongside the train pillow his grandmother made him (thanks, Mom).
My younger son has a “more the merrier” approach to loveys. Though his favorite lovey is the gigantic pig he named “Wilbur the dog the pig” (having named his stuffed dog Wilbur, he then read CHARLOTTE’S WEB and also wanted to name his pig Wilbur), his bed is covered in an inordinate number of stuffies whom he rotates regularly. Each reminds him of the person who gave it to him and at bedtime he often recounts the provenance of the one he chooses to hold closest.
Loveys are friends, guardians, constant companions. And even as we grow older, and our Loveys may only be cherished memories, they are also wonderful reminders of the importance of unconditional love.
Annie Silvestro is a lover of books who reads and writes as much as possible and can often be seen shuffling piles of them around so she has a place to sit or somewhere to put her teacup. Her debut picture book, BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss (Doubleday) will be released on February 7, 2017 followed by MICE SKATING, illustrated by Teagan White (Sterling). Annie lives by the beach in NJ with her husband and two boys who also love to read, and a cat who does not. Visit Annie online at www.anniesilvestro.com, and on Twitter and Instagram: @anniesilvestro
Thank you for stopping by, Annie! And a huge thanks to everyone who has reached out to me about participating in my #WhosYourLovey blog series. Keep the lovey stories coming!