I guess seeing as I started talking about my childhood in my previous blog, its only right I tie up some loose ends which I left open... nobody likes an unfinished story. Though, this said... I would be the first to admit that most of the stories I tell here have some open ends which I rarely go back to, so don't expect me to make a habit of this!
If we all look back at our childhood, there are so many memories. It is fair to say not all of them were great. But part of growing up is facing the bad times whilst basking in the good. Yesterday I mentioned Rufus - the only soft toy I have these days. You may think that someone is too old for a soft toy, and had it had been any old soft toy you may well have been right. Though almost everyone has something tucked away in a drawer or a cupboard which means something to them. Something which has a story, or history to it. Rufus is no exception.
When I was really young, like any kid I liked bed time stories. I am very lucky to have a mother with a creative mind much like my own, she could make any story come to life. However, rather than reading me stories from a book like most parents, my mum would often make them up. I am not sure what inspired her to do so, but I think she tried to relate the theme of the story to something I needed to relate to as a child. Lets face it kids always learn better in a creative environment and I was no different. The stories featured around a dog called Rufus. I really don't remember any of the stories these days, but he was the core character and entirely fictional. There was no dog in our area called Rufus, and if I am honest I don't think we ever established what breed of dog or even what colour Rufus was, he was just a superb character which as a child I loved. The great thing about stories is that you can use your imagination to fill in the blanks and I am sure back then in my mind I could have seen Rufus as clear as day.
A fair few years later when beanie babies were around, my mum stumbled across one... a dog. Anyone who knows what a beanie baby was would know that they all had a tag which had a little story about them, their name and date of birth. For those of you who don't know what a beanie baby was - it was a collectible small soft toy, many of them limited edition - google it... they are rather cute! Anyhow, whether it was fate or coincidence, we will never know. I guess it depends if you believe in fate or not. The shop was filled with these beanie babies, yet my mum was drawn to this one design of dog. A beige/ light brown with dark brown splodges. She picked up and like mothers do, read the cute little story on the tag... what happened next really hit home quite hard, the dogs name was"Rufus", she instantly bought it for me.
Some things happen in life which cannot be explained. Some will say it was pure luck, others will argue fate, some may even say it's a sign. I try not to read into things this much, I think if you do things can lose their meaning or importance. For me, instantly this little soft toy symbolised my childhood and the bond that I had and still share with my mum. I am not at all ashamed to still have this connection to my childhood. In fact I am rather proud, so much so when in college we were asked to bring in something that had meaning to us and a story behind it - I brought Rufus.
It is strange in one sense, I am not a sentimental person, though I won't lie... I am a complete softy. I threw away pretty much all the toys from my childhood. But some things are meant to be kept forever and Rufus is one of these. As the saying goes "one persons trash is anther persons treasure".