I found a doll at Sally Ann's last week - tossed up on a high shelf, clothes dusty and askew, one shoe off and bald. I took her down (her hair falling down off the shelf in a separate pile) and looked at her sweet face and thought 'Oh, yes, I could fix you...'
and took her with me.
Now, I'm not given to china dolls. I'm not.* But - why not? I could call it a restoration project.
So to the house she came. Her clothes were in good shape, just dirty, so off they went and I tossed them, turned inside out, into the washer. Her soft cloth body was wiped down with a wet rag, then febreezed and set to dry in a sunny windowsill. I squirted windex through her (still separate from her body) wig, rinsed, then blobbed conditioner through and let it sit for awhile. I scrubbed the top of her naked head and got all the old glue remnants off the top, then put her away in a high place for a few days.
Yesterday I glued her hair on (after rinsing and rinsing and gentle brushing and shaping - God, the hair was a long time to do!) and today Rosey saw her for the first time.
And I lost my doll.
"Oooh" said Rosey, "What is that?"
Now, the last china doll we had in the house died...traumatically. But my girl's eyes were lighting up and she was hugging the doll to her heart and talking to it and....
she's Rosey's doll now.
"What's her name?"
I searched for an old-fashioned name. 'Penelope.'
Rosey hugged the doll again. "Okay, Mama. Penwipy and I are going out to the livingroom now. But I'm going to call her Jill."
I looked at the doll - was she smiling? - and suddenly had a pang of longing for my own sweet-faced Tilly from when I was growing up.
Every little girl should have a doll. No matter how long they last.
*Yeah, the last one? Creepy Sailor Doll? She finally broke. All together...awwwww!