Friday, March 23, 2007

Photo Friday: Sentimental

Raggedy Ann is really the subject of this week's theme. My daughter got the handmade doll for her first birthday, but didn't show much interest until she was about 2. After that, "Raggy" became not just a sleeping companion, but a constant presence. We went NOWHERE without Raggy. When my daughter's dad and I split up, Raggy had to travel from house to house, and if for some reason she had been left behind, one of us had to get in the car at 10pm and chauffeur Raggy back to her rightful place, next to Emma.

One fateful day, Raggy sat in the stroller while Emma played in the playground with her "manny", Arthur. After a few hours, they returned to the stroller to find the precious redhead GONE. Someone had stolen Raggy. (Who does that?) When I came home from work that night and heard the news, I cried. It was like a death in the family. Emma was inconsolable.

We called the woman who had made Raggy and asked if she could make an identical one. Our plan was to tell Emma that she had been found, not that she was being replaced by a new Raggy. The problem was that by that time, most of Raggy's face had been kissed off and she was in pretty rough shape.

So, when the new Raggy arrived we explained that she had gone to a "spa" for a makeover. Emma bought it and all was right with the world.

Over the years, I think there were about five Raggys...each replacing the other seamlessly. Emma is now 21 years old and has every one of them and still keeps the latest one with her wherever she is sleeping. If that's not sentimental, I don't know what is.

Maybe my determination to keep Emma connected to her heart-doll was driven by my own experience as a child. This is a photo of me with the stuffed animal that I held dear. My beloved poodle that was bought to appease my yearning for a real dog. I walked her on a leash, dragging her up and down the streets of Brooklyn. When my mother determined that she had gotten too rank, she threw the poodle into the mouth of a roaring garbage truck as I watched in horror. I may not have erased that memory by treating my daughter differently, but I can rest assured that her sentimental feelings about Raggy will not be forever marred by an unhappy ending.