Learning about differences for me started before I knew my brother was special needs. We have a doll in our house that has been in our family for over 50 years. This doll, I am told by my mom, who was told by my Nonna, was rescued from the trash at my Great Aunt’s House, by my mom when she was 18 months old. This doll was at one time a brown haired sparkly new version of the latest trend at the time, but through a series of circumstances she ended up having a ripped body and literally every follicle where hair would be sewed in, is just black dots where the hair was ripped out. She basically is the prequel to Big Baby in Toy Story or something that might be out of the Ugly Doll movie.
Here is the thing,this doll is loved. My mom took her home in the car on a long journey from another state. At home the doll was checked into the Doll Hospital and cleaned up and given some new stuffing and material for her body. For obvious reasons, my Nonna called the doll Baldy, and the name stuck. I understand that cousins fought over her, wanted to take her home from my mom’s house, that she was an object of envy. No one teased about Baldy not having hair, although over time we have discussed a wig. I made my mom buy one for her at the last Doll Hospital appointment, but it is just an accessory. Baldy does not look the same with hair after all these years. She does not look elegant or polished. She has a lipstick stain on her forehead and has scrapes on her legs from playtime, and most importantly she has never been excluded. Her adventures through the years have been endless and she has taught many kids what a different doll can mean to someone.
I guess that when you grow up knowing that different is ok, and sometimes scary to other people, that you also learn who to trust, who to talk to and who to walk away from if they cannot except differences. Baldy represents all us kids who have differences, for us or a family member, or both. Looks do not always make a person, or a doll, beautiful. Something is beautiful for what is represents or does or tries to do. Baldy reminds me everyday that differences make us unique, special and above all loved for who we are. No one should judge, but they will. Hopefully a little difference will make others come to understand that judging something or someone took quickly will limit their ability to see beauty in new situations.
Have a great week----Ava