Saturday, February 14, 2009

Grover where are you?!

As a woman in my 30's, I was raised on Sesame Street, The Muppets, and The Electric Company. I hardly missed a show. When I was about 7, my babysitter had a yard sale. My good friend Celeste was my baby sitter's niece. So...she had a ton of her stuff over there to sell and I just had to have this Grover doll. He was about 15 or 16 inches long, well loved and kind of ratty looking...but I wanted it. Mom got it for me for $1. I carried him everywhere and talked to him as if he really understood me. Maybe he really did, who knows, but he was my friend. I slept with him. I ate with him. I danced with him. I watched TV with him so he could see his performances on Sesame Street..and I would tell him how great he did. I would even push him around the yard in a baby stroller. I would make sure he was tucked in safe and warm.

One very windy day I was out in the front yard throwing him into the air and watching the wind blow him a little to the left of me..then I'd catch him. I did this over and over until he landed on the branch of our maple tree. He looked so cute just hanging there with his sweet little smile. I climbed up to get him and when I got back to the bottom, I had a new game. How far up in the tree could I throw him...and how long would he stay there before the wind knocked him out? It turns out..pretty darn high and for a long time. I think the record was about 10 minutes. For an 8 year old, that's an eternity to wait. But at least he came back down because that would have been a very precarious climb on little limbs to get him out. After this game, I tucked him back into the stroller. This is my last memory of him.

Sometime after that day, he went missing. I never found him. Maybe Mom thought I was too old for Grover and secretly got rid of him at a yard sale. That's what she did with my lion when I was about 10, but that's another story for another time. Maybe he was stolen. I keep wondering if I accidentally left him in the stroller in the yard. I have a vague hazy thought that I left him safe in his stroller when I went in for dinner and when I came back out, he was gone. Never to be seen again. I even asked Dad if he would look on the roof to make sure he wasn't up there. There had been an incident that day where a gust blew him on the roof instead of into the tree. Luckily..another gust knocked him off. But, Dad looked for me. No Grover. He did find several tennis balls and a Koosh ball. Remember those? Kelly and I used to throw them over the house to each other and they didn't always make it.

Anyhow, I wonder what happened to him. I personally think he was stolen by a neighborhood kid, but maybe I'm trying to pacify myself and made that up in order to block the memory of Mom getting rid of him. I could understand the theft because Grover was awesome...but Mom betraying me..knowing I loved him...that's just too hard to swallow. Or maybe I simply misplaced him and find it easier to blame someone else than myself. I'll never know the truth of what happened, but today, the truth is that I wish I still had him. Jeff still has Stanley, his little green teddy bear from when he was 3...and I have none of my childhood toys..except Garfield..and he's at my parents house. Many of my toys are still there, but none of them had quite the meaning that Grover did.

Today, I can honestly say that when I have children, they can keep their toys for as long as they want. It's been more than 20 years since Mom got rid of my lion after I begged her not to and I still hold some resentment towards her. I may not have had it now, but it was mine..and my choice of when to give it up. It was what if I didn't play with it anymore. I don't blame her for Grover..I just think someone else wanted him as badly as I did. I hope whoever took him gave him a good home and loved him. I hope they still have it and gave it to their children for them to love. It just leaves me asking: where are you Grover? Are you thinking of me? I'm thinking of you.