Henry and His Animals

The delight my 4-year old grandson Henry gets from his stuffed animals…

I know all the stuff about stuffed animals and allergies and dust mites and bacterial nastiness.

I know all the stuff about trying to clean stuffed animals gone dirty.

I know all the stuff about favorite stuffed animals gone missing.

I also know all the timeless, precious stuff about kids and stuffed animals.

My 4-year old grandson Henry is the prince of stuffed animals.  Prince Henry, the Animal Keeper, I call him.  Oh, his parents try to clean, organize and even purge the animals, but Henry has a memory for each of them that’s as timeless and as precious as a kid’s love for these creatures.

Take yesterday, for example.  I stopped in for a quick visit at my daughter Audrey’s house.  Her two oldest guys were at school.  5-year old Ben was busy with a drawing he was perfecting.

But Henry… it was like he was waiting for me, waiting to take me to his magic menagerie. He held my hand as we walked up the stairs to his bedroom.  Henry is a talker, an explainer… and he was particularly explaining how his stuffed animal penguin looks just like our family’s adopted penquin, McGouto.

“Grandma,” he was explaining, “remember you got me my penguin at that place with all the fish {Mystic Aquarium} and it rained and you fell down.”

The story of the stuffed animal penguin is just as important to Henry as the penguin itself.  And yes, it was raining and as I raced to my car, carrying Henry in my arms, I tripped over a curb and went flying.  I held Henry up, up, up high and landed on my knees and we both sailed along the asphalt.  Good times.  Henry wasn’t hurt.  I was.  I had to stop at the Friendly’s across the street for bags of ice… and, of course, ice cream for unhurt Henry. BUT THAT WAS 2 YEARS AGO AND HENRY STILL CONNECTS THIS STORY WITH HIS ANIMAL.

When in his bedroom, Henry collected each animal and re-told each story.  He paused for a moment at the mermaid with the pink hair and said, “Grandma, I got this from Mommy and Daddy at Disneyland, but I’m saving it for my baby sister, Victoria.”

My heart melted like buttah.

Henry arranged each animal.  Henry even went downstairs for 2 more animals and into the basement for 2 MORE errant animals.  When he was satisfied with his masterpiece, he asked me to take a photo.

I did…

Henry then picked a very, very special animal from his collection and explained, “My brother Ben gave me this animal for NOTHING. No money, no trade, no NOTHING!”

NOTHING will ever make Henry forget the used animal love-gift from Ben. I’m sure of it…

Time will march on and Henry’s animals will find new homes and new adventures.

But for the moment, I could listen to Henry’s stuffed animals stories all day long…


Henry and His Animals was last modified: March 13th, 2013 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (13)
  1. How precious is this post?? Henry is a lot like Steph’s Gray when it comes to his stuffed animals. And I love that he is saving one for his baby sister…..Precious Precious Post Sharon!

  2. I LOVE this. Love, love, love. I am a stuffed animal lover myself, and am totally passing that down to my son. I can’t resist a stuffed animal wherever we go. He sleeps with a good 10 of them in his crib every night, but of course he has a few favorites. This is just fantastic.

  3. So adorable! Henry reminds me of Chloe. She buries herself in animals in her bed and loves them all so much. We have a few staples that she takes everywhere and it’s a challenge for me to wash them because I have to do so on the sneak! I love the innocence of our little ones. Brings me back to when I was exactly like this!

  4. He melts my heart!! My oldest and youngest are the same way about their animals. They all have a story. They even have a couple of mine from childhood which they love to hear about…because I remember my stuffed stories too.

  5. My kids are both stuffed animal lovers too – and yes, the stories attached to each one melt my heart. My daughter is old enough now that she is even starting to name them all. Love.

  6. I passed on my stuffed animal hoarding to my kids! But, thanks to Kelly at Bellani, my children now each have two Boon Bags stuffed to the brim with animals. They get to use them to lean on when they sit in their rooms or play games and I can find them in their beds. Each time they unzip and pull them out, the stories flow. I love your post and how sensitive Henry is. What a dear!

  7. Your entire post made my heart melt like buttah. Henry has such an endearing imagination! What an old soul. And a sweet boy. My daughter doesn’t just like stuffed animals, she adores them and treats them like pets. Some as her own family.
    Thank you for this sweet post.

  8. Oh my goodness! I absolutely loved this post! Look at Henry! Reminds me of Hayley with her love of stuffed animals! They are all over! Such a sweet post! LOVED IT!!!!

  9. I love this!!! So so so cute. My son is the same way with his stuffed animals, or his “friends” as he calls them – it just makes me melt. Sometimes it’s hard to pick him out in the bed when he’s surrounded by them all 🙂

  10. I always wanted my kids to love stuffed animals but no matter how many they got, they just ignored them. now my oldest daughter puts her kids to sleep with a sort of stuffed animal they each get, that they call their teddy and I just love it, its so delicious when they get attached to those furry things.

Henry and His Animals was last modified: March 13th, 2013 by Sharon Couto