Christmas morning 1950.
I was no more than 3 when I walked down the enclosed stairway into dining room probably with my sister June. The house smelled of pies and Christmas tree.
Vaguely, I remember my parents standing there, but my attention was on the small, gray canvas baby buggy just like the big ones mommies pushed. I could not see the contents. It was just so overwhelming that I still vividly remember it after 71 years.
Upon peeking over the side of the buggy, I found a soft, yellow flannel blanket trimmed with blue ribbon. The carriage was just the right height for this little girl.
A beautiful doll was dressed in a gown and cap matching the blanket (a layette made by my mother). She was the sweetest baby I'd ever seen. She was not like the dolls my grandchildren coddled. Her body was made of rubber and her hair was just part of the mould. Her eyes didn't blink and she didn't even pee in her diaper.
The doll and buggy would have been much more of an expense in a time when Santa usually brought a yearly orange found in the toe of a sock.
The little doll slept with me every night from that day forward. She traveled to Washington, D.C., visited my aunt in Michigan, comforted me when I was ill, and resided in my room until dolls were replaced by other interests.
Her name was Amosandra. I know because it was embossed at the back of her little rubber head.
I don't remember ever seeing her before that Christmas morning. I guess she was meant to be my baby.
I looked for her long ago when visiting the farm. She was in a dresser drawer in a plastic bag. Her body was deteriorating. I was amazed that Mom had not tossed her. Perhaps the baby had won my mother's heart as well.
What we give our children can impact their lives and their beliefs forever. My parents had no idea what this gift would mean, the doors of awareness it would bring.
I don't know that I ever saw the doll before that Christmas morning. Perhaps somewhere in my mother's mind, she knew that this doll had to belong to me. And, indeed it did. Not until I was grown did I realize sweet Amosandra's mother was white.
Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl."
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