As soon as I was able to choose my own toys, I was immediately smitten by Cabbage Patch Kids. I remember being around 5 or 6 when my Mom put the Toys R' Us Christmas catalog into my hands and instructed me to look for Christmas ideas. I surveyed the Cabbage Patch dolls carefully. There was one that I thought was the cutest doll of the bunch. Her name was Nessy.
One time my ex-boyfriend's Mom told me that my ex had a Cabbage Patch Doll when he was a little boy that looked like him. I said my first doll was also a Cabbage Patch Kid. She then asked "oh did your doll look like you?". "No," I said. "She was black."
I remember people making comments about my doll when I was a kid. I remember not really understanding what they were saying when I was a little girl, but I was aware enough to know that it wasn't nice. As an adult I know exactly what they were saying. I think it was pretty cool that my parents let me choose my own doll, as well as stand the negative comments and looks. But there was probably another reason I chose the doll.
My first memories are of a sweet round face that looked down on me with the light of an angel. Her name was Miss Vicky. She had a small daycare in Anchorage, Alaska where my family lived at the time. She lived simply, without any luxuries. She poured her love into children, who often she cared for with no payment because their families couldn't pay. She never turned any child away. Once she told my Mom that if we did not pay her, she could not pay her rent or eat. When we moved back to Oregon my Mom left her nearly everything we owned including our bed pillows.
I could tell you so many stories about the things she taught me. All of my earliest memories are of her, and I remember so much about her, especially her smile. I think there are true saints that walk among us and that she was one of them. A few years after we returned to Oregon one of my cousins moved to Anchorage and was also put in her care. My cousin was touched in much the same way we were.
My brother and I with Miss Vicky approx. 1987.
Once back in Oregon, Miss Vicky would send us packages every year on our birthdays and Christmas. The last package she sent me was a graduation present when I graduated high school. It was a special edition Barbie dressed for graduation. Miss Vicky died shortly after that. I never had the chance to see her again. It's something I will always regret. Some day I want to visit Anchorage, find her grave, and bring her some beautiful poppies that she loved so much. I want to thank her for everything she did for me. I want to thank her for influencing my life in the beautiful way that she did.
Children are taught to hate or they are taught to love. Children don't see color, they see kindness.
Nessy and I
I imagine my 5-year-old self being asked the same question "does your doll look like you?" to which I would answer "yes she does".