My mother passed away a few years ago, the effect this has had on me in regards to gift giving is two-fold: one is that I cherish every gift I have from her, the second is that I want to give my children gifts that they will both love and keep. This doesn’t mean that I don’t ever give them anything cheap–or simply for fun–but I do go out of my way to find a few things that really will have a lasting impact.
In the fall of 2013 my daughter found an old teddy-bear of mine and named her “Honey”. This bear had been made for me by my mother so seeing her play with this toy brought my heart so much joy.
I desperately miss my mom, but seeing something she made bring my little-love so much happiness makes her feel closer.
(Here is a video of my girl and her “honey-bear”: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151874746334037&l=2946387779005245012)
So, this past Christmas I tried to find gifts that would be meaningful, and would last. The truth is that most of my home-made attempts fall apart very quickly. (For the life of me I don’t know how some quilts last for hundreds of years, and mine fall apart within months.) Therefore, I chose to buy these gifts, and not attempt to make them.
(The truth is that the arms on the bear from my mother fall off regularly. Poor Honey).
Please allow me to introduce you to Moira:
Isn’t she so sweet? Oh my goodness.
I got her from Roving Ovine on etsy.
I got to design her, which was so fun, and almost like making her myself–just without all the stress, (and a MUCH better finished product).
I went with red hair because my husband is a red-head–plus I simply love red hair. She has blue eyes like my daughter and a blue dress because, let’s be honest, there is simply too much pink in little-girl-toys these days.
Naming the doll went something like this:
Me: “Do you want to name her Emma?”
Me: “Do you want to name her Madeline?”
Me: “How about Wendy?”
Me: “How about Moira?” (From Peter Pan: “Wendy Moira Angela Darling”, just in case you didn’t follow that train of thought)
Thus, Moira was named.
I am so happy with how sturdy she feels, like maybe-maybe-maybe (fingers crossed) she won’t fall apart too soon.
Plus, she has a removable skirt and “kill-me-now” adorable pink slippers. Ugh. (so. . .maybe she is kinda for me as well)
She has already been put to work too:
Little-love developed a cough after the holidays and Moira stayed right by her side through it all, what a good friend. It really blesses my heart seeing my girl cling to her new doll because I want my Little-Love to develop real memories with her.
God forbid I die young, (I know, I know, but I am only 30 and I have two deceased parents so you will forgive me if I’m a tad morbid) but if I do I want my kids to have lots of things to remember how much I love them, things to pass on to their kids, things to keep my love alive.
Of course it’s not all in the “things” in life. Memories are real and beautiful and I have been blessed with LOTS and lots of wonderful memories. However, there is no denying that seeing my mothers handwriting, or wearing her earrings, or baking her recipes, bring me a special comfort. They are what trigger the memories. They are the visual reminders of moments, of feelings, of special events–thus, those “things” gain irreplaceable value.
Maybe Moira won’t become one of the “things” that trigger happy memories for my daughter, but then again, maybe she will.
But, however much she loves Moira now, I am glad that she still needs me to cuddle with her too. No one helps the ouchies go away better then a Mama, believe me, on this I know.
Something about putting Moira and Honey together just feels right: a gift from my mother to me and a gift from me to my daughter. A reminder that life is short and precious, but if we are purposeful, pieces of our love will live on in our memories. In this case, those memories are triggered in the form of a sometimes armless teddy-bear and her new red-haired side-kick.