Monday, December 22, 2008


I read The Lonely Doll to Lily tonight. She loved it. I knew she would! I used to pour over that book and any other Lonely Doll book I could find. I knew how that doll felt and to me her world was magic. I remember getting a copy of The Lonely Doll and Midnight. Of course, like so many of my childhood things, it is gone now. It is also out of print. Well, that stinks! There are only 3 of the 10 from the series still in print. I do have one of the out of print ones, though! Rob's grandma had a copy of The Lonely Doll Learns a Lesson. She seemed so amazed by how enthralled and excited I was to see it (I was 24) that she said "well, just take it." It's a little well loved, so I'll wait to show it to Lily.

While I was looking for info on the books, I came across the story of Dare Wright the author. She seemed to a child-woman, who never really grew up. It seems there is a great deal of controversy and potential scandal about her life, but I looked at her official website which is managed by a close family friend. After looking at it, she seemed to be more along the lines of J.M. Barrie, someone who was able to live in a child's world, but not really able to handle the adult world. I think these people are special souls. Being an adult is hard, children are so real and honest. They believe in magic and love. There are no strings attached. Of course my mind also jumps to Michael Jackson, which muddies the water a bit.

Before, I ramble further and become more incoherent, I stumbled across another memory. Did any of you ever see The Red Balloon? That movie killed me. I remember watching it in school and it breaking my heart. I vividly remember the bullys chasing the boy and the balloon. I knew what it felt like to be bullied. I was tormented daily. Sometimes, I wonder if my teachers and parents ever realized that I wasn't really a big baby when I cried so much. I honestly just felt that much. There was so much more going on in my head than I could have possibly explained. All at once I was an old soul and an eternal child. I think this is why I shelter my girls. They've never seen Old Yeller. Forget the damn Red Balloon. We treaded so lightly through The Velveteen Rabbit. I read Bridge to Teribithia to Caroline before she saw the movie. Of course I choked up at the end and she had to finish it herself.

I wonder if I am doing them a disservice. It's ok to feel sad, scared, angry. I cried my eyes out at When Did You Last See Your Father on Sat. night. Rob just walked through the room, patted my head and asked "Sad movie? Good sad?" I nodded yes to both.

I think my empathy helps me. I have it under control (usually). It is quite an asset on my job. Somedays I feel like the leader of the land of the lost. I understand those quirky kids. I accept them and then give them the tools to camouflage with the rest of the world. I wish someone had given me that sooner.


Laura Ohio said...

Keep writing
melissa. I miss our long conversations and reading your postings band-aids my missing you!

mooserbeans said...

I miss you, too. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

Betsy said...

I can completely relate to what you're talking about here. The first time I read Babar to Esther, I was stunned to come to the dead mother, shot by a hunter, on the second or third page. "Here's Babar, see him playing with his mom? See him playing in the sand? See his mother lying dead, on the ground?" Yikes. I used to just skip that page and wondered how we were ever going to get through anything.(It's always the mother that gets killed off.)
Over time I have slowly grown less protective, less vigilant. I think, that happens differently, on an individual schedule, for every parent. There's nothing wrong with a bit of sheltering.

mooserbeans said...

Since we've been reading the book I've been doing more research into Dare Wright herself. She lead a very sheltered and sad life. The books seemed to be her way of dealing with a troubled childhood. I have wondered if I was doing the right thing by reading the book to Lily (esp with the spanking scene), but Lily had a different take on the whole thing. At the end (we've read it so often now she has it memorized) she said "Even if you make mistakes and get in trouble, family's never leave." Pretty wise, huh? Luckily, in this house it is true. I once listened to an interview with Pete Seeger. He said tragedy is part of life and children understand it better than we realize. That's why folk tales and fairy tales are so harsh. Maybe I'll go with a fifty-fifty approach. My reality will come in small doses.