When I was a little girl – prior to kindergarten – my Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls were my security companions. They went with me everywhere. Then one day, after running various errands with Mom, I realized one was missing.
Mom called all of the businesses we’d patronized, including a grocery store at a neighboring town and our local bank. None of them had a Raggedy Andy turned in to lost and found.
It’s the first time I remember seeing Mom mad. Not at me. Not once did she give me a hard time for losing him. She was mad that someone would pick up a child’s toy and not turn it in to be reclaimed.
I wasn’t devastated, but I was sad, because Raggedy Ann’s friend was gone. Because I liked holding her, but she didn’t fill my arms the way two dolls did. Because I understood I’d never see Andy again.
Then this morning happened.
Mark, Miller, and I went to Cracker Barrel for comfort food. We took Miller – now about the same age as I was when I lost Raggedy Andy – to the toy section while awaiting our table. That’s when I spotted Raggedy Ann and Andy.
I scooped those baby dolls up in my arms and felt a specific childhood happiness that had been dormant for nearly thirty years.
The day Raggedy Andy disappeared, I grew up a little bit. Today, I grew up a little bit as a parent.
Because of that loss, I am reminded of what good parenting felt like as a small child. Of how simple advocacy for your child can be.
Jamie Muscato is a thirty-something stay-at-home mom. Between rounds of singing “the Wheels on The Bus” with her son and cheering on the Fighting Irish with her husband, Jamie plays with perspective, laughs at farts, and blogs about it all at commodetojoy.com. You can follow her on Instagram.
Image courtesy of Peter Heeling.