Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Series: My First Doll

As you know I have been working hard to come up with a variety of content for my blog, as well as my Facebook page.  I had an idea!  I thought it would be fun to share some personal stories about first dolls.  If you would like to be included in this series please email me at bebebabiescom@yahoo.com.  I will let you know what I need you to send me.  To get the ball rolling, I am going to share with you my first doll.  I must admit to you this one was hard for me to write without tears...

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".


  1. This brings me back to my youngest daughters childhood. All of her babies were dark skin, she didn't own one light skin baby. I didn't understand her facination, but they were her babies. And she was taught not to see skin color. And she loved each and every one, and we also had to overlook the ugly stares and nasty comments as well. We would do it all over again.

    1. That's great to hear Lizzie! Thanks for commenting...I'm going to get your interview up next week. Want to space out the interviews a little more. :)

  2. My sister had the exact same cabbage patch doll. The hospital gave it too her when a dumpster fell on her and both her legs got broken. Us other sisters were super jealous because we could not afford to have cabbage patch dolls and all that Summer we secretly hoped to break our legs too.

    Anyway...this doll has become something as a joke as my sister has turned into a very active feminist and activist for equality. I don't think anyone ever had evil intention and I know she loved that doll past the point of no return. My sister's doll was named CoCoa, and where it isn't sad it's our family's favorite (in context) joke.

    1. Sorry, I just remembered more. A very spiteful little kid on the bus said something really awful that made me want to kick her in the teeth cause my sister was so proud to take her beautiful cabbage patch kid to school. She said that we could only afford the black kind of babies cause we were poor. Glad to be grown up and glad at least we were never that horrible.

    2. Ok it's not funny but it is a little that you all hoped to break your legs. I probably would have thought the same thing as a kid. I think the psychology of dolls is an interesting topic. I read an article a long time ago about how children of color tend to chose light skinned dolls exactly because of these reasons. It's so sad to me. That's why I strive to make dolls with all skin colors. My hope is that, like my parents, children are able to choose the doll they like the most regardless of the skin color.

  3. My first doll was a Cabbage Patch Doll. I remember my mom's excitement when Christmas morning came. She rushed me to the Christmas tree and she started to hand me all of my gifts, one by one. Finally, she handed me the last gift. I remember her face...she had a big smile and she has so excited....when I started to pull at the wrapping paper, she couldn't hold herself back...she started to help me rip the wrapping off. When I revealed my present, I couldn't believe what it was. Her name was Sandra and she had blue eyes and short blond hair. She was dressed in a little red plaid dress with a white collar. I will never forget that day. My mom would sew and crochet pretty outfits for her. We had fun!
    After that, my mom bought me a black Cabbage Patch doll. She was bald with little dimples. She wore a pink corduroy jacket and pant set with a white knitted winter hat with a pon pon on top. One day, towards the end of the school year, the girls and I decided to bring in our Cabbage Patch Dolls to school. Well, I brought in both dolls and I will never forget their faces. One girl in particular, Renee was her name, said, "why do you have a black doll?" The expression on her face was pure disgust. Her question bothered me. Well, not really the question but more her expression..as if I did something wrong. I told her that my mom bought her for me. I asked her...."why, can't a white person own a black doll? What difference does it make what color someone is?" She rolled her eyes and she basically kept me out of her circle after that. Oh well.....my mom taught me to love everyone.... Color should not be an issue....it's just color, that's it. We are all the same. Apparently, she did not see it that way.

  4. Thank you for the story Debbie. I never thought other people might have had a similar experience. Doll lovers are gentle souls. ;)

  5. This is one of the most touching and beautiful stories I have ever read. I loved ever word. It's such a beautiful tribute to a wonderful lady who really made a difference....so much so that a little blond hair girl with white skin would choose a dark skinned baby doll. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this. Blesses the socks right off me! Thank you for it. xxx