But this girl was really kind to me. She accepted me as her friend and became a comfort and ally when so many things in my life were awry. We talked about gardening together and gave each other secret code names that seemed more glamorous than the ones we had - Heather and Diana.
Eventually I moved away. We wrote each other letters and talked on the phone occasionally, but long distance relationships are hard when you're young. Over time our lives went separate ways, but I kept one relic from our friendship: a stuffed dog named Penelope that my friend sent me in a care package.
Penelope has kept me company through every transition of my life: from being a teenager to becoming an adult; from singleness to marriage; from marriage to motherhood. Sometimes she was a guest on my bed, sometimes packed away in storage. As I was going through boxes a few days ago trying to sort out things we don't need, I ran into her. I left her where she was, but Dootle found her and brought her out into the main toy area. Then Finkle rested his eyes upon her and refused to lay down until he was holding her. After he slept he refused to get out of his crib without her.