My granddaughter will be two in February. I’ve already decided I want to buy her a baby doll and a cradle. Lately she’s been wrapping teddy bears in blankets and referring to them as babies. I want to encourage this nurturing instinct. I hadn’t yet given much thought to which type of baby doll I’d buy but today an old memory came back to me. It happened about seven years ago……..
I met her through my job. She was the Mother of four girls. Her husband worked countless hours so she could stay home with the kids. We engaged in small talk and I learned over time that her girls liked a specific brand of dolls. All four of the girls shared one baby doll. They took turns with her. Each of the girls understood that the doll was expensive. It was not in the budget for each child to have her own.
During a visit to a high end thrift shop one summer day I noticed a doll in a case. I asked for assistance to take a closer look at her. The cashier grabbed a key and walked to the glass case. She removed the doll and placed her on the counter. After asking a few questions, I made the purchase.
I made an impromptu call to the Mother of the four girls. I explained that I’d found another doll. She was extremely excited and begged to pay me sight unseen. I would have no part of taking her money. We made a plan. I would drop the doll off to her in a bag so the kids would not see her. She would put it away until Christmas.
Months went by. I couldn’t wait to hear how surprised the girls were. I showed up to their house in January. I wore a smile from ear to ear as I walked up the driveway.
I knocked on the door as usual but this time I was not offered to come in. I could see the girls through the bay window. They were leaned across the back of the sofa waving at me. I smiled and waved back. The Mom quickly and quietly explained that she’d met me on the steps, afraid I might mention the doll. She went on to say that after she and her husband took the doll from the bag, they placed her right back in there. The doll was the right brand but she wasn’t the color they were looking for. The doll I bought had olive tone skin. They wanted white. They had donated the doll knowing that someone else would appreciate it.
I had no words for her. I shook my head. I went back to that house for years because I had too. It was my job to maintain their pest control. I was always kind, never rude but the boundaries had been defined. Sadly there would never be a true friendship. We could not see eye to eye on equality.
With this said, my granddaughter will receive two baby dolls for her birthday. They will be two different nationalities. She will be taught right from the get go, to love without prejudice.