Friday, December 9, 2011

A Dolly for Miriam from Emily and Elizabeth

Miriam’s cute little braids flounced around that joyful child as she watched us park just past her grandmothers food stand. Brenda greeted this old lady, which gave me time to meet Miriam. Miriam’s parents – her father at least – no longer live…killed in war. She now lives with her grandmother who makes her living by selling the few fruits and vegetables she manages to grow. Brenda bought two avocado from the grandmother to give to her grandchildren for dinner that evening. Will that be all they eat?

Receiving a dolly never seems to be a hopping up and down event for these children; as it might be for a girl of the same age in America. What does a child perceive about this small gift? Does she wonder about its purpose? Grandmothers always recognize the crude replica of their own children as babies and begin to instruct these new mommies about how to care for their new charge, often wrapping them securely to their back. Does Miriam wonder how to push the dolly around at the end of a stick like the coke bottle toys? Does she wonder about the realistic (or unrealistic) nature of this new thing? She certainly seems to know that a hug is in order (for the dolly) and if that’s what she learns well from hugging her own dolly, I will be quite satisfied.