Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pink Elephants

I have this box of dolls & stuffed animals from my childhood that I've saved. I thought that maybe some day my kids would be interested in them--to see what their mama was like as a kid through her most loved toys--and to show respect to that by playing with them. When Lindsay was a baby, I put up one of those corner nets that hold dolls & toys in her room. Then I got out my box and thoughfully put most of those tattered loved toys in the net.

There was the Hollie Hobbie, face stained and worn from lots of love. Her hair is brown now--my mom had to replace the orignal yellow yarn long ago. And she still has her original clothes, although they are quite threadbare and seem so small. There are pictures of me at age three or so, wearing those same clothes. She was my absolute favorite and shows the most wear as a result.

Then there was the two Strawberry Shortcake dolls that my Grandma made. Their bodies & clothes are all crocheted to fit onto a premade plastic head. She spent a lot of time one year, or probably several years, to make dolls just like the Strawberry Shortcake characters for my cousins and me. I find it interesting that Strawberry Shortcake is popular with my girls now. I never played with those dolls, they were display only, so they look exactly like the day they were made.

Another one was a stuffed bear that I bought for myself from the hospital giftshop when I was in junior high. I volunteered there and once I saw that bear, I fell in love. It was really soft and had the cutest face, and I was still young enough to let myself fall in love with a stuffed bear. I slept with that stuffed bear until I got married, he fit in the crook of arm just perfectly so that I could feel the soft fur on my cheek. I find it kind of silly, looking back, but also very typical of teen girls.

The weirdest one was a kitchen witch. Remember those cloth handmade witches that women would make to match their kitchens? They'd be sown with their hands & feet around a wooden spoon so they could hang tastefully on the wall? Yeah, somehow I got one that my mom made and I kept it.

The last one was a little stuffed pillow in the shape of Dumbo. It's really worn--the fabric is quite thin and the pattern that shows Dumbo is really light, but it is still quite obvious that this Dumbo, is in fact, pink. Now, I don't remember if maybe he had a laundry mishap and went from grey to pink thanks to a red sock, or if he was indeed pink when I acquired him (I don't even remember how or why I got him), but the fact remains that he's pink. Not too long ago Kera wanted me to get some of those precious toys down from the net, and one of them was Dumbo. She's seen the movie and she knows Dumbo is not pink, so she didn't believe that this pillow was really Dumbo. I guess it didn't matter what shape the pillow was in, she wanted it and getting it was her main aim.

I let the girls "play" with those toys for a couple weeks, but then I carefully gathered them up and took them downstairs to their home safe inside a box. The girls weren't as respectful or careful with them as I'd have liked them to be, and besides they have plenty of their own toys. Maybe they'll be more interested in "mama's history" & the pink elephant in a couple more years.

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