Thursday, November 17, 2011

AOHT & 'Quite the Doll'

Photo of Molly by Michelle Gier

I can always count on two things to trigger Acute Onset Happy Tears (AOHT) (Yeah, I totally just made that up.). When I was pregnant that list was much longer, once a Telus commercial featuring a hippopotamus had me in tears for hours...and I hate Telus. But in my less hormonal state, only two things can really cause a bout of AOHT so terrific that I need to let it play out or it will just start up again in 10 minutes. Christmas & Vinyl Cafe. And yesterday I had a healthy dose of both which lead to the present Kleenex shortage in our home.
If you're not familiar with the Vinyl Cafe radio programme on CBC radio then you won't understand the mistake I made. If you are, then when you read this you'll be asking yourself "What did she expect?". Good question. As I put Molly down for her afternoon nap I had to acknowledge that I could hardly keep my eyes open. I was exhausted and not in the typical Mom way...more so. And I don't nap, I've never been able to, so as I climbed into bed I knew sleeping wasn't an option. I took off my glasses and scrolled through my iPod eventually selecting a (free!) podcast from Vinyl Cafe entitled ' Springhill'. Within minutes of hearing Stuart Mcleans voice I was sobbing. Not crying, sobbing. And rather uncontrollably. I find AOHT is like that. Its not as easy to stop as tears of sadness or frustration. You can't reason with it. Once the floodgates are open...watchout. So there I am, listening to the story of Dave, stuck in the laundry chute listening to his sister sing (Splish Splash was also a favourite of mine), thinking of all the trouble my sisters & I got into and sobbing. Thinking of my children and overwhelmed with hopes that they too have childhood memories similar to that of the character Dave's or mine.
If you have iTunes (if you don't what decade are you living in???) go & download a free Podcast of the Vinyl Cafe today. Or pick up the 'Family Pack' at Costco right now for $19.99. You will love it. Nothing makes me feel more Canadian, makes me more nostalgic or gets my priorities and values in check than listening to it. And I look forward to the concert every Christmas season when they finally come out west (December 1st!).

In case that wasn't enough for the day, at the prompting of a message from my cousin Leya, I decide to watch the Polar Express with Miles before bedtime. Short story short: I was bawling for the same reasons I was just hours earlier. I close my eyes and prayed that my children will be blessed with those same experiences I had that made my childhood so fantastic. I prayed that they will believe in Santa, or the spirit of him, when they are 30 like their mom. I prayed that they will be lifelong friends like Dave & his sister or myself  & mine. It was clearly a cry-fest. And I was clearly out of control.

Maybe some days you just need to cry. Maybe it's all inside you & needs to get let out at regular intervals. And maybe it reminds you that you are human and capable of feeling these awesome things. And maybe it's all part of staying sane & being reminded of the reasons you chose to endure.

And it seems there is always balance. Had I not been overwhelmed with positive emotion I might not have handled the days events with as much Calm, Cool & Collect as I did.

Molly has this doll. She was actually mine, my dad bought her for me on a trip to Hong Kong. I always liked her (she has a baby wearing the same uniform that straps to her back) so I kept her around. I guess because she's been around for 18 years I forgot that she doesn't look like most of the other dolls around here. Molly has really taken to her and I let her take her with us while running errands yesterday. At the grocery store the cashier, a woman in her 60's, looked at the doll, looked at me and commented "Well, that's quite the doll!". It wasn't what she said, it was how she said it. Like the doll was made of razor blades or crack-cocaine. It was the tone of her voice that lead me to believe it was a criticism and not just a comment. I'm packing my groceries, growing increasingly offended. So what if I let my daughter take her doll out in public? I can wash her! I use to take my Cabbage Patch everywhere and I turned out just fine! It is a bit germ-y but I don't let Molly drag her on the floor and ------------------------------ it hits me! My first reaction is that the comment is a criticism on my parenting but I think it was actually a racist comment! It SO was! The lady didn't approve of my daughters military-clad Asian doll. I must have looked like an idiot standing there with a dumbfounded grin on my face. I was shocked by her ignorance. Shocked. But I didn't flip out. I didn't lose my cool. I didn't dive into a lecture on Acceptance or Diversity because it would have been wasted energy. Instead, when I was buckling Molly into her car seat I told her to give her baby lots of kisses because someone had just hurt her feelings.... Maybe a bit dramatic but there's a part of me, still 8 years old, that secretly thinks my dolls might be alive & have feelings.

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