My third bear ever is now for sale. His name is Ursus. He’s for sale, along with its sibling, Gingko. It’s been a lot of fun making bears. I think I have enough stuffing left to do one more, which means that I’m going to get four out of this bag of stuffing, maybe five (I doubt five).
It occurred to me, as I made this bear, that nowadays stuffed animals come in four main varieties — cheaply-made ones that we win at the county fair for playing complicated games; cheap ones that come from toy stories; expensive ones that come from higher-quality stories; and hand-made ones (or some combination of hand-sewn and machine-sewn), that come from loving parents or grandparents who make them by hand. This is much more in the last category than the first two — it’s a high-quality fabric, it’s intended to be a pleasure to hold (or carry-drag around the house), and it’s unique. There’s not another bear in the world that’s ever going to look quite like this one.
Both he and his brother Ginkgo (from the leaf shape on his fabric) are now for sale, though — not because there aren’t kids and parents I couldn’t give these stuffed animals away to, but because some kids are already so sure of their identity that you can’t just give them a random stuffed-bear: you have to make one that suits their own personality and identity. So I have some more bears to make — probably in the near future.
More than that, though, I learned that I can make a bear in about two hours’ time during a webinar or a conference call where I’m expected to listen but not say much. It strikes me that this is a quality use of my time, in some ways. Maybe it’s better that a child has a new toy, a soft toy, an interesting playmate, than that we continue to feed the beast of too much talk and not enough action. Sometimes the best allies are silent but smiling: encouraging us to go become our best or better selves.