Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Grandpa Dollie Co

I once alluded to the possible future existence of this post, and that day has finally arrived.  If you've not been eagerly anticipating its arrival, you probably should have been.  

Once upon a time, many many years ago, my Grandpa Casdorph retired from a company called Monsanto.  As a thank you for years of employment (okay, so maybe I'm making this part up), they gave him a fairly creepy doll with his own face printed on it, multicolored yarn hair, and Care Bears inspired overalls complete with a rainbow.  

In reality, I don't remember that part of the story.  But I do remember the doll.  I named it Grandpa Dollie, because - well, it looked like Grandpa.  Legend suggests that I carried that doll everywhere.  I'm going to guess legend is correct.

Fast forward several years to a time after my high school graduation.  I hadn't thought of Grandpa Dollie in years, nor had I recently carried him around as a cherished plaything.  Christmas came that year, and as always, there was a package from Grandma Casdorph under the tree.  And in that package, my very own Grandpa Dollie.  

Grandma handmade a Grandpa Dollie for each of her children and grandchildren for Christmas, complete with each family member's own likeness.  She even photographed them together in nuclear family and extended family photographs.  Each has the signature multicolored yarn hair of the original Grandpa Dollie, and if you pull up the hair, each will reveal a "Grandpa Dollie Co. by Grandma" official label.

This may all sound silly to you.  At times, maybe it has sounded silly to me.  But my grandma knows how to make a memory, and I appreciate all the effort she put into that one.

Fast forward again several years to the present.  I've mentioned before that Alex's insomnia combined with his extensive imagination make sleep pretty challenging for him.  What I've probably not mentioned is that for the last two years or so, he has slept with a framed 5x7 picture of Jesus to help him feel safe.  Each night, I tuck him in with those sharp edges lying next to him on his pillow and wonder if there is some better way to help him feel the Savior near him while he sleeps.

I'm a bit hazy on the details here.  I think I suggested maybe going to a Christian bookstore to see if any plush versions existed.  And I think Kirk gets ultimate credit for suggesting that we ask Grandma to make him a Jesus Dollie.  

It felt a little fundamentally irreverent, placing the likeness of someone so sacred on a doll.  But I thought of my sweet five year old who wants nothing more than to sleep with his Eldest Brother beside him each night.  I decided that my loving Father and Brother would understand, and we asked Grandma if she'd be willing.  She paused for a moment before responding, "Well, I probably won't give Him multicolored hair."

We kept the project a secret from Alex, so when a package arrived yesterday, he had no idea what to expect inside.  When he unwrapped the handmade gift, his eyes lit up, and he immediately hugged the doll.  When I asked for a nice picture for Great Grandma, he suggested a posed side-by-side at the piano, much like a photo one might take with a physical brother.  

He became a bit distracted by the trinkets Grandma had included for each of the boys, and while they played, I inspected the new doll.  Respectful brown hair tied back with a time-period band.  Sandaled feet.  Soft white robe, perfect for cuddling.  And of course, the Savior's face printed directly on the doll.

I collected a few more details this morning so I could write this post.  Curious whether the new doll sports the same authentic label, I headed to Alex's room, camera in hand.  At first I was frustrated to not find the Jesus Dollie on his bed as discussed.   But then, in true Alex style, I found a whole separate sleeping nook behind the head of his bed, where I assume both he and the doll slept peacefully last night.  

Thank you, Grandma, for indulging a mother's strange request to help her son feel peace at night.  It is a gift he will treasure for years.  And I happen to think He looks right at home in Alex's ship bed.

And for any who may have been wondering:

He's authentic.


Janneke said...

I think that is really neat Andrea. (Is neat the right word?) Thanks for sharing all your wonderful stories and adventures with the world. :)

Rebecca and Nick said...

Wow, that is a pretty sweet Jesus doll!!