A dad talking about a baby doll? Well yes, a very important baby doll my daughter had.
All little girls love baby dolls and you were no different. From when you were a baby to your pre-teens you had an army of dolls, and later Barbie’s, that filled your closets. And still do I might add seeing the box filled with Barbie’s in your room at my house. These little likenesses of kids, babies, and moms came from many stores but one of them came from a store that was more than a cookie cutter Toys R Us or discount store. Instead the source of it was a magical little doll store near our old house on Monterrey Drive in the Handley area.
On a stretch of Lancaster a few old buildings had been restored and were filled with small businesses. One of them was Enchanted Dolls. I do not know how we found out about it but I took you there to look a few times. We would drive down Handley, swing onto Lancaster, go past the Red Rooster lumber yard your granddad Tom liked to shop at, and park in front of the store. We would go inside and would be in a different world. That world was one of fine custom made dolls and not the ones that were made by the millions overseas that flooded the look-alike stores. These dolls were sometimes very expensive. Being little the price was not your care, but the huge array of these sometimes lifelike dolls was. You walked around the store in wide-eyed silence tugging at their clothes, stroking their hair, and holding them too. The lady that ran the store was obviously enthralled by your interest, of course she wanted to sell some dolls, and helped you try to find the perfect baby doll.
You mom took you there too and on at least one Christmas you got a fine doll from there. It was not cheap, nor was it the most expensive, and looked like a real baby girl in appearance. You named “her” Alice and she became your favorite doll. You dearly loved and adored Alice and played with her so much MeeMaw had to sow her back together at least once.
Like all of your dolls you treated Alice like a real child when it was in your little arms. You would play like she was getting a bottle and tried to make her burp. Or sing her a lullaby. These simple actions imitated life and time went on around these playful times as you got older. And get older you did and finally stopped playing with your dolls having outgrown them for sports and boys.
Since Alice from Enchanted Dolls is not at my house I assume she is at your mom’s in a box or maybe standing in a corner staring at your now empty room. Regardless of where she and your other dolls now lie they are an allegory of life in a way. As I said above, you played like you fed and cared for Alice and her fellow doll-mates and that play taught you how to care for a real baby of your own. Maybe that is why girls are more natural with babies than boys sometimes. The boys play sports or army but not with dolls when they are little. Of course what boys play with teaches them other things that are just as important and valuable too – things a man shows a boy to be a good man. But the doll play, again, shows a little girl what to do with an infant when she is a mom. Hence that little doll named Alice from Enchanted Dolls cast a magical spell on you, one that will make you a better mom simply by having cared for it like a child so innocently and lovingly now so long ago.