When I was 3 months old, my father brought home a stuffed moose as he returned from Boston. My parents just called him “Moose”. As I got a little older, I warmed up to Moose, and he stayed with me for a long period of my childhood. At some point, I thought I was finally finished with “Moose” and gave him away to a younger childhood friend of mine. Her parents secretly gave Moose back to my parents, knowing how special it was to me and therefore, how special it was to them.
A few weeks ago, I watched A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. It brought back memories of Moose. It is an amazing and timely movie that I recommend you watch, whether that be streaming or placing a hold at your library.
During a particular scene, Mr. Rogers (played by Tom Hanks) brought out his puppets while in an interview with a reporter that really didn’t have the patience for these puppets. Mr. Rogers asked him if he ever had any stuffed animals or puppets as a kid that he could share his feelings with.
This was the role that Moose played for me. He was someone I could share my feelings with. As I got older and the method began to seem childish to me, I probably resorted to bottling those feelings up inside.
My department at work gave all of us a Myers-Briggs test this year. My scores revealed that I was an INTJ. When I was given a chart of stress triggers for those that fall into this category, “talking about our feelings” was one of them. This was not surprising.
When looking at Moose in the featured photo, squashed in my arms, there is something about it that chokes me up and brings a tear to my eye. That little boy is still a part of me. He misses his Moose, and wants to share his feelings with him.