Saturday, August 31, 2013

My "extra" baby

Before Gareth started school we loved going to the local playgroup held in the grounds of the school and church. A quiet spot where the kids could play and explore under the shade of gum trees while the mums had a cup of tea and chatted together, building friendships and sharing the trials and tribulations of their previous week. When Gareth started Kindy I missed this group. There were jokes about popping in to say some day with a baby doll wrapped in a blanket to say hello. Somehow life got busy and it never happened. 

Fast forward almost 6 years and my week has a different pattern. Working set shifts at the local hospital means my Fridays consist of caring for patients and playgroup is a fading memory, until a change in my work roster found me dropping Gareth to school one recent Friday morning and at a bit of a loss as to what I was going to do with my day. There was always the long list of boring house chores to go home to. I stopped in the car park with the warm sun on my back and chatted to mums with younger kids and watched them wave goodbye to each other with calls of  "see you at Playgroup" My friend Francesca joked that I should come too. I laughed at the familiar joke of  "Just bring a doll" and went home.

The washing got pegged on the line, breakfast dishes were cleared, the floors swept. I stood in the kitchen feeling restless and then thought "I'm going!" I grabbed a doll from the top of a wardrobe where it lay in a tangle of toys. This doll had been mine as a young girl. A gift from Santa when I was about 8 or 9. The birth certificate in the box had said her name was Mineenee. She was wearing an old babygrow of Sians. I felt a little silly walking down to the clearing where the Playgroup was in full swing. It didn't take long to find Francesca and she laughed as she saw me arrive with my doll under my arm. I had a fun morning, sitting in the sun, drinking a cup of tea and joining in the chatting. I got to play with my gorgeous Goddaughter. We played airplanes where I span around and around holding tight to her hands as her feet left the ground and she shrieked  "Again, again, AGAIN!" It was magic!

My doll was quickly adopted by Francesca's other lovely daughter who asked if she could borrow her for a few nights. With her mum's permission we agreed terms for the sleepover and later that day I got a photo of her babysitting the doll carefully. The next week at morning drop off Mineenee was returned to me on the promise that someday in the future she could have another sleepover at her new friends house! 

As I sat next to the fireplace on that chilly Christmas morning in my Dublin home and unwrapped that doll all those years ago I wonder if Santa could ever have known that 30 something years later on the other side of the world the doll would be bringing joy to another little girl sitting under the dappled shade of the eucalyptus trees...

2 comments - click here to leave your comment:

  1. Nice story :) Thanks for sharing. Glad you felt comfortable enough to go back to playgroup...and that it is still meeting!


  2. So that's how you spell Mineenee!

    So glad you decided to come along. It was a great morning.

    Mineenee must have seen many things in her time. It's amazing that she made the trip with you to the other side of the world. MissyMoo2 is keen to babysit again sometime soon :-)