Today’s excerpt from Mother Up: A Memoir is a post in response to a weekly meme called “Where I Lived Wednesdays,” hosted by Ann Imig at Ann’s Rants. Want to join the fun? Just click here and leave your link!
After Morton, our family moved to the Grays Harbor area. The small white house on Cherry Street midway through my first grade year. In the middle of second grade, we moved to the one across from A.J. West Elementary. In that house, I woke from a dream one night and found myself enclosed in a tiny room. Mom and Dad found me trapped in the hot water closet, just off the main floor bathroom.
For Christmas that year I received a new baby doll I named Rosalie. She had plump cheeks, tiny indented toes, and blue eyes that always seemed to gaze at some far off place unless I laid her in the crook of my arm. Then I’d set her in a cradle, cover her with the soft blanket, and nudge the curved tread of the bed with my foot, rocking it while she slept. She wasn’t a fussy baby even when I changed her too many times in a row as young mothers sometimes do. She never seemed to need more than I had to offer. She never questioned my love. I never worried if I was mother enough.
In the years that followed, as the tiny ric rac trimmed dresses my mother made for Rosalie grew old and worn, my love faded. She ended up in a hallway or cabinet, and when we moved (because I moved almost every year as a child) the baby doll was stowed in a cardboard box. By then I was eight. Disappearing love objects didn’t seem out of the ordinary.