I believe in teddy bears. When I was little, I told my teddy bear everything. But as I got to the 6th grade, I stopped. I thought it was time I gave up on my teddy bear. I never should have.
In 6th grade, kids started dating and girls wore a lot of makeup. I felt alone and young. I still played with stuffed animals and had fun with my friends. Some kids thought playing with stuffed animals was immature. While I was rolling around in the grass during recess with my friends, other kids would sit a ledge and just talk. They thought that if they didn’t show any enthusiasm, they were mature. They hid everything about themselves. I didn’t. My friends and I still had fun and laughed at stupid jokes.
Halfway through the school year, I started to notice that even my friends were changing. The people I had known for my whole life were becoming people that I didn’t know. They stopped playing with me as much, and they started trying to act perfect. After a while I realized they were trying to fit in and they were changing for someone else. Earlier in the year, all of my friends had prided themselves on their individuality. But they had started to become distant and even mean. To me and to other people.
One day I went home and cried. I laid down on my bed and buried my face in my pillow. I suddenly grabbed the closest thing to me and it just happened to be my teddy bear. I almost threw it aside, because I thought that I was too old for it. Then I realized that if I truly loved my teddy bear, I would never be too old for it. I wasn’t ready to give up on my teddy bear. I held on to something that was important to me. I didn't want to grow up too fast.
I went to school the next day and sat with some other girls at lunch. For the first time in a while, I was happy. I felt like I was fitting in. But still, every night I would go home and play with my stuffed animals. They were important to me, and I held on to them even when everyone else gave up their teddy bears.
Teddy bears are important things. When I was little, I poured all of my hopes and dreams into mine. When I was older, I used those hopes and dreams to get back on my feet. My teddy bear is one of the most important things in my life. My teddy bear represents never growing up too fast. My teddy bear represents holding on to what's important. I believe in teddy bears.
Essayist Rebecca Hile is 13 years old and attends Delta Middle School in Boalsburg. She has two older sisters and enjoys performing in plays and musicals.