When I was a little girl, my parents gave me a Giggles Doll for my birthday. I had yearned for this doll for a long time, and I was so delighted when I received her as a gift. The doll was just as any doll except she would giggle when you moved her arm up and down. Every time she giggled, I giggled. I loved my doll!
My little sister wanted to play with Giggles, too. I would let her play with my doll on occasion; however, my sister did not just want to play with her in our room. She wanted to take my favorite doll in the bathtub. The instructions that came with Giggles explicitly said not to put the doll in water. Therefore, I warned my sister to play with the doll anywhere but in the bathtub.
One evening I went with my father to the store and left Giggles at home. When I returned, I went in search of Giggles, finding her in the bathtub with my little sister. The horror of seeing my favorite doll in the water was overwhelming! Giggles’ beautiful hair was matted to her head, her clothes were on the bathroom floor, and when I swiped her out of my little sister’s hands, she was waterlogged with soapy bath water.
My mom came running to see what was wrong when she heard my scream. Quickly performing doll CPR, my mom placed Giggles in the sink and shook her roughly to remove the excess water. By then, I was crying and Giggles had bubbles pouring out of her head. I was traumatized by the scene. The first thing I did the following morning was go into the bathroom and check on Giggles. I found that she was dry and did not have any residue of bubbles in her hair. I dressed her in her colorful dress and put her shoes on her plastic feet. The hair on Giggles’ head was still matted and gently I tried to brush it to its former luster. Finally, I sat on the bottom bunk of the bed I shared with my little sister, and pulled Giggle’s arm up and down to see if she would work. NOTHING! I tried repeatedly to no avail. I was heart-broken.
For days, I kept hoping that Giggles would giggle once more. I would pull her arm, but she did not work. My little sister was just as upset as I was. She felt terrible that she had broken my favorite doll. We both worked hard trying to rehabilitate Giggles, but we finally gave up and set her on the shelf.
Many months later, I walked past Giggles and the twinkle in her eye made me take her down from the shelf. I smoothed the hair on her head that never did have the store-bought luster return, and for the heck of it, I pulled her arm up and down. I do not think I have ever had a happier day, for when I pulled her arm she giggled. It was a loud, robust giggle that made me, too, giggle. I ran out of the room yelling. I found my sister and hugged her. We giggled together, pulling Giggles’ arm up and down until we were crying with laughter.
It is funny, but I learned a valuable lesson from my Giggles doll. I learned that I should never give up hope. Miracles can happen even when it seems impossible. If I can just be patient, wait a little while, and pull the arm up and down, the world will be all right.
Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 2012-2013.
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