There’s Only One: The Tale of a Lost Toy

Traci S. Sanders

Do you still have your favorite toy?

I wonder how many of us can say yes or – even more telling – show the actual
favorite, and if not in person, at least in pictures.

For many of us, I would guess it was a stuffed animal. And while it may be worse for
the wear – how often was it washed, brought out to the yard, dragged through the dirt? – that’s only because when something is your favorite, it has to come with you – rain or shine.

For others, it may be something that moved – a car or truck; maybe it didn’t move at
all, unless it got toted along, like a doll or a ball. Whatever it was, it was the favorite.
I bet every parent has the story when it became The One and, unfortunately, the day
it wasn’t. Sometimes that was by choice, other times it wasn’t.

How often have parents turned their house upside down looking for a toy when
what should be “right there” isn’t. Of course, if found there is an audible sigh of
relief and if not too many sleepless nights – for parents and kids. And while both
recover, neither forgets.

When my daughter was two, and at the hospital following a bout with the stomach
flu, we left her favorite stuffed animal – Tweety Bird – in the room. When we got
home, we noticed. While we had a second one on hand, albeit, slightly larger – a just
in case Tweety – we felt awful. We called the hospital numerous times, but to no
avail, it was gone. We had thought that Tweety #2 would do the trick when we
bought it, but we couldn’t have been more wrong. It simply wasn’t the original, but
we felt that we had no choice so we gave her the new one hoping that she wouldn’t
notice its somewhat bigger size. She did. Apparently, the goldfish trick – where one
dies so you pop another one in the tank – didn’t work. She looked at me with complete skepticism and, rather than come clean, I told her that – since it
was around her birthday – Tweety had also had a birthday and so they both got
bigger. She didn’t buy it and, within a month, had moved on to a new stuffed animal.

And so, that story gets told and retold and while we have a lot of pictures of her with
the original Tweety, I don’t even know where the replacement one is. My guess is we
gave it away. Hopefully, it became the original favorite for another child, but for
mine, there is only one.

So, hang on to whatever toy your child treasures the most. And, on the chance that it
gets left or lost, take lots of pictures, because…there is only one favorite.