Tuesday, December 05, 2006
I don't have very many mementos from my childhood. (Unlike someone I know who still has her Donny Osmond lunchbox from 1976!) I have the stuffed rabbit that my dad brought to the hospital the day I was born, the hope chest he made me when I was 16, the blanket my mom made for me when I was in grade school, and two Cabbage Patch Kids from the early '80s. And I have a Raggedy Ann doll. She is not your ordinary Raggedy Ann doll. She didn't come from a store and she cost very little. Her body is made from old beige sheets, her clothes are made from scraps of material, and her hair from leftover yarn. She has blue eyes and a big grin painted on for her face. On her chest she has a red painted heart that says, "I love you, Jen." I got her for Christmas one year when I was too young to know that store bought toys weren't a possibility. I didn't know and I didn't care. I loved that doll. But now when I see her, I see so much more than fabric and paint and yarn. I see my mom sitting up after I had gone to bed carefully cutting and stitching and painting even though she was tired from her long day. I see her hoping that this simple, hand-made doll would be enough. I see her loving me so much that she did her very best to make me happy with what she had. I see the woman and mother that I want to be. And this precious treasure that means so much more to me than any store bought doll ever could, will always help me see the true meaning of Christmas--that we love because he first loved us.