Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Doll Hug

Fifty-five years ago my mother-in-law Muriel, made two dolls and an octopus for her niece Cathy. Mom was the kind of woman who would make square dance skirts for her daughters out of her bedroom curtains if she couldn't afford fabric (yeah, square dancing was pretty cool 50 years ago.)

Anyhow a box arrived this week containing two handmade dolls and an octopus. Cathy wanted Muriel's great granddaughters to have these dolls. Once the box was opened, the hug fest began. Saraphina also sings to them. It's a really loud song that includes words like "mommy, daddy, bug" (bug is the generic name for our dogs) and "wawa," which means water in the currently decipherable Saraphina lexicon. It also includes some dance steps before the dolls fly through the air in the grand finale. After the applause they are quickly gathered up in preparation for the next song.

I'd never seen these dolls before. Mom had made clownies for her kids and a Snoopy version for my kids, all made out of Dad's socks.

Aunt Selene's Version of Clownie (Ballerina Clownie)

Most likely Dad never knew why he had so many mismatched socks. Back when Mom was making the Snoopy dolls, she would steal the stuffing out of Dad's pillow and then sew it shut. It was our secret. Since Dad never replaced anything that still had a potential use, I suspect he chalked it up to normal pillow compaction and just folded it over to sleep. But I was always curious just how many stuffed animals mom could extract before he decided it was time to head to K-mart for a new pillow.

Mom made everything on these dolls, the bodies, the faces, the hair, the dresses, and even the underwear. I can see her sewing late at night, combining bits of fabric and lace to create a doll that would last 55 five years to enchant three generations of her family.

Update on Tiny Miss Quimby
Soon to appear on the scene, Saraphina's cousin Miss Quimby is queuing up for her birth day, possibly in the next few weeks. Michelann has the nursery prepared and ready for the transfer from womb to room. Watch the blog for updates.

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