Ever since I can remember, the American Girl doll catalog came to our house. I would sit for hours looking at the pages, reading the descriptions of each doll, each outfit and each accessory. I wanted to read the books so bad, but it was still too new for our musty old college library to have them. So, one day, my Dad went to the store and bought me a book... Meet Kirsten. Even though I was a very good reader by this time I wanted my mom to read it to me. The emotional moments we shared through that book had a huge effect on me.
I became obsessed with Kirsten. My parents only ever bought me two more of her books. I was not allowed the Christmas book (we didn't celebrate), the school book (I was homeschooled), or the summer book (she had a secret she kept from her parents)!
As time went by I wanted more of Kirsten's world. I started wearing pioneer style clothes. I tried to match each outfit as closely as possible to Kirsten's outfits, and of course... I wanted the doll.
I am the oldest of seven children, and my Dad didn't have steady employment with good wages until after I finished highschool. My mom always tried to creatively speak to our deepest desires and decided if they couldn't buy a Kirsten doll for me, she would make one. She made a rag doll with brown hair like me and even painted a wooden box to look like her trunk. I was a little disappointed, but I played with what I had. I made her stuff and took her to church with me and tried to play with her with all the girls that actually had American Girl dolls.
This went on for a couple of years until a cold and raining day that had all seven of us kids cooped up in our one bedroom trailer. We were antsy, my poor mom was frazzled... and then here comes the UPS guy, with a box. A box address to me!
My mom and siblings hovered around me, curious what had come. I opened it up and there was a real Kirsten doll! She came with a hardback book and and all the accessories. I was floored. No one knew where she had come from!
I played happily with my Kirsten doll for many years. I made her as many clothes as I could and collected miniature stuff for her from yard sales and thrift stores for her. All the while I was happily playing with her, I always wondered where she came from.
The day came, as it does for all of us, to grow up. My day of growing up happened when I chose to go into the Air Force. My best friend invited me over to say farewell and while we were hanging out her mom took me aside and told me that she had wanted to wait till I turned 18, but since I was leaving for the AF before then she figured it would be okay to tell me early that she was the one to get me my Kirsten doll. Even her own daughter was surprised!
So the years passed and a had a daughter of my own. When we were going through some tough and turbulent times my only way reach out and show my love for her was to pass on my Kirsten doll. For all the memories where we celebrated her birthday with tea parties, and bought modern clothes for her and read her stories (all of them).
She treasured her for years as she lived with my younger brother. Kirsten was her grounding point. Her reminder of her Mom's love for her.
Then some more heartache happened and she ended up moving. And my brother lived alone in the house for a year.
When my sister started preparing to move in with my brother... She found Kirsten, in the closet with her leg ripped off and her hair cut. But, she glued the leg back on and combed her hair to hide the cut hair. And she brought my Kirsten doll back to me. She doesn't have any of her clothes or accessories. Right now she is wearing an infant boy outfit my sister decided she didn't want for her soon born boy.
So, I have some work cut out for me. I need to clean her, fix her leg for real and replace her wig. She won't be worth as much as a collectors item. But, my Kirsten doll was never meant to be a collectors item. She was meant to be loved. And I intend to give her that.
Stay tuned for for more: Project Kirsten
Note For Readers: Please do not use the comment section to ask for further details about my daughter and this hard times that we have gone through. It is a story I don't feel comfortable sharing at this time.
|Me at five. A special bonus picture for you! Haha!|