I was the kid that believed in monsters under the bed and the protective power of my blankets, the force field of a closed cupboard door and a well placed, yet ferociously protective teddy.

I was sick a lot as a kid. Paediatric ICU sick, long-term stay (like MONTHS!) in a kids ward sick.
Lots of medications, lots of needles, lots of investigations while we find out what is wrong with you sick.
The sucky kind of sick.
I actually don’t remember a great deal about it, certainly not all the graphic details.
What I do remember though, other than the crappy hospital food, was my comfort things.
Not being a girl who was into dolls, it was my books and stuffed animals that were my ever-present companions in and out of hospital.
A rotating roster of body guards that would accompany me into, throughout and out of hospital. An elite group of ferocious protectors, that when not accompanying me on hospital duty, were tasked with the military protection of my bed back home.

My stuffed animals were a motley crue and each had specific roles. And they performed them like a crack team of special ops military commandos. They had specific roles and duties and they performed them well. Never was a man left behind in the field. Never was a man to be left alone. If not with me these faithful protectors were stationed in pairs, in case the cupboard door opened and they needed backup. And in the long nights in hospital, they reminded me that I was not alone.

I no longer cuddle my snuggles, but I have body pillow that snuggle into every night.
However Master 4 has developed an attachment to some wildly eccentric professional teddies, like Buckethead the Lion, Graffey the Giraffe, Sharkey Shark the……shark and Honky Pig (he is full of a wheat pack and is pink.) Some he has brought out of retirement for body guard duty, like Bones, my 3 foot long stuffed dog that sits flat at the end of his bed.
Not every night are these protectors needed, but even when not on personal duty, they are stationed like a battalion under his bed or at the foot.

I was reading books from a very early age, and they fast became my friends. I would reread them lovingly and was ever so careful with their pages. This has continued into adulthood, even with an Ereader, I still have the floor to ceiling bookcases filled with my friends books. Hubby knows, and although he doesn’t understand, they are the first things packed when we move and they are sytematically unpacked after the move.
I would read a favourite whilst trying to ignore the 3-4 times a day blood tests.
I would tell my stuffed animal stories whilst recovering from another seizure.
To this day, a well written story, a tale of adventure will magically transport me away, on wings of imagination and hold me, in thrall, until the world I inhabit calls me back.
A book will bring me comfort and joy and is my ‘go to’ now, but I walk past Master 4’s bedroom and give a nod and salute to the tireless defenders on duty for him now that I am grown.

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