Tuesday, March 22, 2011


It's late, I'm emo and I can't stop thinking about Betsy.


I bought this cat for Tannah when she was still in my belly. I actually bought it at a little shop in Daylesford on my hens weekend (yes, I was pregnant at my wedding)when I was 14 weeks pregnant and I had just started to feel tiny butterfly kicks and tumbles. The cat kind of stuck out in a room full of stuffed toys and I couldn't help but take her home for my unborn baby.

Betsy was not a first favorite toy but she was in high rotation from day one. She sat in the toybox and watched me pace back and forwards with my screaming and sad baby. She was witness to so many of my own tears that first year and she was often in bed with all of us. Around the time we moved to Queensland-when Tannah turned 2- she became one of the more special toys that was not sold at the garage sale before the big move-in fact I'm pretty sure she came in the car.

She was in the pile of Tannah's stuff that was in our lounge room as Willow was peacefully born into the birth pool-Betsy was a witness to one of the most healing moments of my life. She started to become the toy that Tannah took to bed once she gave up both my breast and the dummy. It was about this time that she was christened "Betsy".

No one knows where Tannah got this name from but it was never questioned and she went from being "Tannah's cat" to Betsy in her own right.

She went with Tannah on her first sleepover away from Luke and I just before she turned 3. And when we packed up and came back to Melbourne weeks later she was one of the most important things to be bought home-definitely in the car in Tannah's arms.

Tannah became quite attached to her as she neared 4 and she was an essential sleeping item. Almost 2 years ago, as I was birthing Harper just rooms away, Tannah would have been snuggled up with Betsy when she was woken by my birthsong. When Tannah spent that first night out of the family bed and then the first night out of the family bedroom she cuddled her special toy.

Poor old Betsy is a bit haggard now. She has some band-aid bits that won't come off her fur and she is a bit matted in placed but they are all signs of love. She goes most places with Tannah and I am paranoid about losing her.

Tonight Tannah went to bed without Betsy. She didn't ask and I forgot all about it until just now when I found her while cleaning up. I got a bit teary and went and popped her into bed with my sleeping daughter. I mean-she won't just grow up like that right?

And now I can't stop thinking about how long we have had that damn cat and surely my baby girl can't be turning six next month. SIX?? It just seems like it was only yesterday that she was the baby and learning to walk and talk. And now she is learning to read. I can't help but love that she is growing up and want to freeze time all at once. I still feel amazed that I survived that first dark year and in awe of the person that she is.

So forgive a Mama for getting all emotional as her firstborn grows up a little.


Deb G said...

Your writing is so very touching, Shae. Thanks for sharing it with us. xxx

Fi said...

Nawww Shae, that made me tear up a bit too!
My little man has 2 lions that hold the same importance as Betsy. He started out with just one but then I sneakily bought another one in case, god forbid, something ever happened to the first one - but he found it & has had 2 ever since.

If it's any consolation, my niece is going to be 15 this year, and has 'flower' who still sits on her bed every day.

Jayne said...

Awww, it's those little details that mark the passing of time (and sting the most) but your baby will always be your baby no matter what changes happen ;)

Tricia said...

Lovely story Shae. They do grow up way too fast don't they. But what lovely memories.

I still have a hand-knitted elephant that was given to me when I was born thirty *cough* years ago. My daughter now treasures it and reminds me every now and then that it's 'my favourite toy from when i was a baby'. I wonder if she'll share it with her daughter?

It was lovely to meet you on the weekend :-)

Sif said...

If it's any comfort, both Erik and Luey took their "Tigey" and "Sunny the bear" on camp with them last November (they were 11 and 9). Tigey and Sunny don't go everywhere with them any more, but are still around for special occasions and I'm sure Betsy will always have a special place amongst Tannah's things.

Veronica said...

Amy doesn't have a special toy, but I was so sad when she graduated into a real bed and I get sad with every set of clothes she outgrows. Growing up is hard to watch.

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