Ode To A Baby Doll  

Posted by Heidi in

As a little girl, I had a favorite baby doll, one I still have tucked away with my most cherished possessions. Clearly she has been well loved; her head has a split down where it joins the neck and she’s got a rather dirty face. I was just a baby myself when she became mine but my mother told me the moment I saw her, I had to have her. It wasn’t until I was expecting my first child I realized what I actually wanted in that moment of my babyhood was a little girl of my very own.

Instead I had a boy and, boy, what a boy he was! I was twenty-nine before I was able to hold my daughter in my arms and boy, what a boy she is! She doesn’t care for ballet, the color pink makes her feel woozy and dresses have never been her thing. However, she is a truly wonderful daughter in spite of it, or, perhaps, because of it. She is entirely herself, a unique creation. She is not what I would have put into the mix if I had been able to choose in my “pre-Her” days, before I knew how much better someone could be without my meddling.

Yet.

She is so much more of everything I could ever have imagined.

There are moments, so many more of them than there should be, when I still want to re-arrange the mix a little, add some color (she loves black and white) or some curl (she’s just now, at her newly minted age of 14, starting to play with a curling iron) and give her much more direction than she is likely to absorb. She believes my pressing need to tell her this, tell her that, make sure she knows every little thing I ever learned denotes my lack of confidence in her when in fact it is just the opposite.

She is the perfect repository of all I have to give. In her I have all confidence. She has all her parent’s goodness, strengths, talents and attributes.


Times ten.

One day she will conquer the world and I will be her lowly maidservant.

I will keep that under my hat for now. She is, at the moment, still a young girl who needs to be protected from the knowledge of her awesome strength and power and I am, after all, still her mother.

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 11, 2009 at Sunday, January 11, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

36 wise, witty and wonderful comments

What a sweet tribute. I love having girls.

January 11, 2009 at 4:12 PM

This is a wonderful piece you've written. I feel like I've been introduced to a great character.

January 11, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Sometimes I still want to have a girl. But I'm also terrified of having one.

This is one of my favorite posts of yours. I don't know how to describe exactly why, really. All of your posts are good. There's just something about it.

January 11, 2009 at 4:38 PM

i want you to know i came across your blog yesterday..
i am a blog stalker. lol!
i thought your picture looked like someone i knew..why?? ..so i looked to see why i knew you. after looking through your blog..i saw it..your book. i discovered Kirsten's sister! that is her book.
Kirsten is a friend i made on the interned on a lds email list long before she was pregnant with Ryan. anyway. small world. Linda Hoffman
i will keep you on my list

January 11, 2009 at 4:50 PM

It takes a lot to raise a girl. Especially in these days! I don't envy you at all! (Though I have always wanted a girl.)

It takes even more effort to not enforce our personalities on our children, but allow them to develop their own.

Quite the tight rope parents must walk.

Great post!!

January 11, 2009 at 4:51 PM

I love my girl...she is WAY girlie...but I was WAY not...so funny! :)

January 11, 2009 at 5:00 PM

I always wanted to have boys. No girls, but the blogging world has honestly opened up my eyes, and I would love to have a daughter one day.

January 11, 2009 at 5:10 PM

My first three children are boys - (and yes - very BOY boys!)... I was a tomboy growing up so this worked out just fine... and then I had girls... pink girls? sometimes, certainly more than I was... but girl enough that our mornings are full of hairdos and primping :)

January 11, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Thanks Annette, I would love to have a girl too. Oops! I mean one who likes ballet and pink and dresses. Oh well! K--thank you! She's a real character, all right! But we love her anyway. :) Heather, yes, what you said, I know exactly what you mean. Her birthday post was a lot harder to write than my boy's were . . .I think it is b/c, well, I don't quite know why. It vexes me. Gramee--pls stalk away! I like comments better though! Yes, Kirsten is my sister but I had no idea I looked enough like her for someone to think twice about it. Most people think I look like my identical twin sister. Go figure. :) April--no doubt! And then there is our Big Guy--his tightrope is wayyyyyy up in the air and there is no net. sigh. .Shelle, that is good to know b/c it *looks* like you turned out all right (bwaahahaaa!). I think it would be awesome if my girl had a girlie girl. It would be such poetic justice! In fact, I am now saving my dolls for "her".

January 11, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Beautifully said! I have loved having my girls and only hope that I can teach them everything I know (and more...is that possible?) so that they can go on to be the great queens I know they are.

I still have my favorite doll, too.

January 11, 2009 at 5:15 PM

Kristina, I grew up in a family of 7 girls. You can see why I felt I must have one of my own, one I could dominate rather than be dominated (I am #6--yah!) I recommend them, anyway. T-I have to admit I don't mind the lack of primping and hair-dos before school though I would have dearly loved to mess with that stuff for church or after school or Saturdays. sigh . ..

January 11, 2009 at 5:17 PM

Lara--yes! Yes yes and yes! Unfortunately, I still have pretty much all of my dolls and there were many. And then the books . . .oh me, oh my! I must make room for food storage and, er, um, chairs at the kitchen table.

January 11, 2009 at 5:18 PM

That is so sweet!!

I was the SAME WAY. I was about 17? 18? When I actually turned into a girl. I first toyed with the curling iron when I was 19!

January 11, 2009 at 5:18 PM

how sweet! she's lucky to have you. :) my favorite baby doll from childhood met an untimely demise when daniel pulled all her stuffing out through a ripped seam where her plastic leg attached to her soft body. katie brown, i still mourn your loss.

January 11, 2009 at 5:29 PM

So perfectly written! Isn't it funny how opposite they see our intentions? Thanks for sharing, she really does sound like a gem! :)

January 11, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Very sweet. I really wanted to have a boy first (because I thought I wouldn't know what to do with a girl), and I got the girliest of them all. Now I'm thinking, maybe we should have all girls.

January 11, 2009 at 5:55 PM

I think I will copy that and post it in my home as a reminder of what a mother should be. So well written. I could feel the love you have for her. Make sure she gets a copy of it later down the road. I love reading you!

January 11, 2009 at 6:26 PM

Such a sweet post. I'll bet she is the kind of girl I would love to know. I always sat the fence between being a girly girl and being a tomboy. It is a good place to be! Thanks, Heidi. In this post we see the creamy inside of you. :)

January 11, 2009 at 7:34 PM

That was a really lovely post. Children are so unique, never quite what we expected, and always we learn so much from them. I wish that they could see themselves the way that we do.

January 11, 2009 at 7:50 PM

Print this one out for her, when the moment feels right. It's a beautiful post about your beautiful girl.

January 11, 2009 at 8:13 PM

Heather--YOU!!??! That is good to know. You are so nice and girly girly now. Jessica, you are too funny! Next time I see Daniel, I will give him a swat for you. He'll wonder why but I won't tell him. That's what aunties are for. Lassen fam--it does kind of drive me nuts but I don't think I really understood my intentions until I sat down to write this so I guess I can't expect her to. Mariko--I am sure my parents would say YES go for girls! My brother was more trouble than all us girls put together! (though I hear it is often the other way around) Jess-THANK YOU!! Kazzy--you mean I am like a hostess cupcake with a creamy inside? I LOVE hostess cupcakes and ding dongs. Yay me! Heatherlyn, no doubt! Jami, guess who got on the laptop whilst in her room and managed to find some wifi and read this post. Yah.

January 11, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Great post, Heidi! It's funny how we always think we know what we want. Then we get something completely different and it ends up being way better.

January 11, 2009 at 8:40 PM

Ooh, Oooh, oohh,
I totally just posted a song for her on my facecrack...
Go take a look.
(the Trace Adkins one, not the Rodney Atkins one... although maybe... that one too ;) )
Ever notice how awkward that is?
Inserting a little smiley doohickey and then adding another parentheeses? This computer has no spell check and I totally spelled that wrong.
Oh but hey, I could have done this:

Yeah, I need to remember that next time.

January 11, 2009 at 9:07 PM

Alyson, no doubt! Abra, cool! How sweet of you!

January 11, 2009 at 9:38 PM

I didn't really start to become a girl until I hit my twenties. But look out for me now!

January 11, 2009 at 11:21 PM

So nice to hear about your little girl. I got the exact same girl. I still can't get her to wear pink.

Great last line. It's so right on. hee hee

Beautifully done!

January 11, 2009 at 11:40 PM

What a sweet and wonderful tribute to your dear daughter! You are blessed to have each other.

January 12, 2009 at 4:08 AM

They are so different from us, aren't they? It amazes me.

January 12, 2009 at 5:58 AM

This was lovely to read. Very sweet and true.

January 12, 2009 at 6:01 AM

Thanks for making me cry this morning. You've really summed up something special about the push and pull of the mother-daughter relationship.

January 12, 2009 at 6:39 AM

Alison, that's a relief--sometimes I really worry. I know she adores boys but will they adore her? That's the question. Crash--really? How funny! Wanna trade? (JK) Joy, Luisa, Becky, Heather--thanks so much! I appreciate the feedback very much!

January 12, 2009 at 7:26 AM

What you feel about your daughter is beautiful. What a wonderful mother you are, to recognize her for who she is even though she's different than what you expected a girl to be like.

January 12, 2009 at 11:32 AM

Rebecca--so sweet of you to say that! Thanks!

January 12, 2009 at 12:02 PM

People keep using the word sweet. I'm not the biggest fan of that word, but it's the one I would use to describe this post, too. Sweet in the very best, most sincere sense of the word. I love your description of the struggles of teaching your daughter. I know it will be like that with Evie, but I hope she will be as good hearted as your baby doll! (I read Evie the note she left on your computer that you posted last week)

January 12, 2009 at 1:20 PM

I just wanted to let you know that I finished your book last night and enjoyed it very much. It was quite a fun read and I especially laughed during the slipper game!

It's so fun to read a book of someone i "know" from blogging.

January 12, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Girls are fabulous. My daughter is already outstripping me in so many ways!

January 14, 2009 at 8:19 AM

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