Friday, May 20, 2011

Crime Scene Turned into Memory Maker

I knew this day would come. I really really hopped that it wouldn't, but it did. Tralee finally managed to find a pair of scissors and cut hair. Granted, it wasn't her own or any living thing's, but it was still painful for me.
I have an old doll my grandmother made me when I was a little girl. I LOVED it, and knew it was special because my grandma made it just for me. When other toys found their way to thrift stores, I hung on to this doll to give to my little girl someday. Never once in picturing my little girl playing with my childhood toy did I envision this:

I cried.

I know it's just a doll, but there was a lot of sentimental value attached to it. I think I also cried cause I've caught Tralee with scissors before "trimming" her stuffed animals' fur. We've had the "scissors are JUST for cutting paper" talk. . . A LOT! So, I think my tears were a culmination of Tralee's disobedience as well as a bit of my overly-sensitive side worrying about my childhood doll's hacked off hair.
On the other hand, after I had Tralee help me clean up the yarn-hair and put the scissors and doll away, I had a moment to reflect. I remembered when I was a little girl sitting in my room with a Barbie in one hand, and a pair of scissors in the other. I remembered the panicked exhilaration I felt as I snip snip snipped. I KNEW (if caught) I would be in trouble, but I also felt curiously powerful. After my Barbie's hair was a few inches shorter and there was still no sign of adults around, I decided no one would know if I snipped a bit of my own hair--just a little off the top. Turns out, a little hair off the top IS noticeable, and I DID get in trouble for cutting it, but I don't think anyone ever noticed my Barbie's new do (either that or they just didn't care).
Twenty-five years later I looked into my daughter's eyes (that people tell me look just like mine) filled with tears and listened to her ask, "What can I do to make it all better Mom?" I thought of myself at her age, feeling so excited about doing something no one could undo. I wondered if she felt the same exhilaration or powerfulness I had felt as she cut? And suddenly I realized that we (the doll, Tralee, and I) had come full circle. The very reason I gave Tralee this doll was to share a piece of my childhood with her. And isn't it some sort of right of passage to cut someone/thing's hair. I did it, and now so has Tralee -- to the very doll from MY childhood. It's almost as though it was meant to be; the doll, a symbolism of childhood. Or maybe I'm just being my usual overly-dramatic self, trying to make something bigger out of this scenario than what it is. Maybe it is just this: Tralee cut a doll's hair. Period.
Even if it is that simple, I somehow love this homemade doll more now. There's nothing Tralee can do to fix the bald spot she gave it, and even if there was I'm not sure I would want the doll fixed. With each chunk of yarn-hair cut off, more history was created. So Little Munchkin, the answer is, no. No, there's nothing you can do to make it all better, because it already is. I only ask that you hold on to our dolly, and give it to your baby girl one day. And maybe someday, she'll finish the haircut you started! At that point, we might want to sew on some more hair.


Boom said...

I read your blog about the "hair cutting crime scene" to Grandma Stoehr and she said you need to add a few more illustrations and submit it to a children's story book company. You really should do that with about 1000 of your blog stories.

Love Mom

Mary Ann Carlile said...

What a bittersweet (but more sweet than bitter) post! I agree with your mom, too;)

Hannah S said...

oh no!! I agree with your mom :)
How sad though. Can you "brush" the other yarn over into a ponytail to cover it up?
This reminds me of when I cut the bands on my mom's madame alexander dolls. I don't remember doing it. But my mom brought it up a lot over the years. Finally, one year for Mother's Day I took them to a doll repair shop and had them restring them. Now she displays them again :) Not being played with by grandkids :)
I hope you can still keep it as a momento.