This is Raggedy Monkey. My sons favourite toy and I have to admit I will miss the day that 🐒 isn’t sitting in random places waiting for 🦁 to come home from school…
My son leaves him in a position before he goes to school, not before giving him a kiss goodbye and it is my job to look after him. I leave him waiting for my son to return - he sits watching me whilst I potter, read, run around (I often talk to him and occasionally sniff him too but shhh don't tell my son that).
My son has 3 of these monkeys all identical from Jellycat, but this one is his favourite. A present from his Mama & Grandad when he was born, he takes it literally EVERYWHERE. Oh the tales we could tell...
Raggedy Monkey might look the same to you or I, but to my son, he is very different. To him this one is his pride & joy. His best buddy. His lovey. He treats it with his gloves and more kindness than I have ever seen in a busy boisterous 10 year old boy. To him this monkey is a real thing with feelings.
Yes it’s slightly more “raggedy” as he calls it. But really this shows almost 10 years of love & hugs. It has been washed and we have tried to switch with the other 2 monkeys but nope. THIS one is his favorite.
My daughters have a raggedy much loved softy each. Eva my eldest has a teddy called Gilbert & Rue has a cow called Moo Moo.
Eva’s is now boxed away, together with baby things and little casts of feet and hands. I often wonder if her almost 16 year old self misses it? Her once fluffy teddy, Gilbert now raggedy from years of love. Does she ever miss it and want a cuddle?
Rues “moo moo” is in her bed, often squashed between pillows. Still close to her. For how long? Who knows… a while longer I hope.
And mine? Mine is Abigail. A soft bodied pretty dolly with a hard nose. The fabric covered nose tip worn away from years of my childhood where I would knock on my mums wall to wake her up.
Many years later she lost her smile. So one day I restitched it. And now she sits in my studio. A reminder of where I came from, how little I had but how I was so loved & in turn gave my Abigail so much love until she was raggedy & worn.
Abigail inspires me when I am voicing work where I am needing to tap into an emotion. She takes me back to a time... well when life was simple and good and summers were baking hot. When I would run home to have cold jugs of orange squash in front of the TV, where I would grab Abigail and sit sucking my thumb whilst my mum cooked dinner and sang in the small kitchen and my sister would do her homework.
And then later in years to come my step father would come home from work and would grab and apple and sit and chat.
It was an easy breezy life full of love.
That is what Abigail reminds me of - love.
Summers in Cornwall with my dad, eating hot fresh donuts out of the bag. My gran making delicious meat pies... Laughter, chats, togetherness and SO much love.
And that is what in time Raggedy Monkey, Gilbert and Moo Moo will remind my kids of. How we had love. Even in the dark times. Love surrounded them, hugged them and kept them safe and warm.
Go out today & hug & kiss until your recipient is raggedy & worn & full of love.
It doesn’t matter how little or how much you have. Love costs nothing.
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• Grit & Grace •
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