Raising a child like myself couldn't have been easy for my mother. I grew up reading the Little House on the Prairie books over and over, and watching the television show in syndication. My favorite book in the series was Little House in the Big Woods. I loved the idea of living in a small cabin secluded from neighbors. I was fascinated by the descriptions given of butter making, sewing and baking. I, being an impressionable child, wanted to do this at my house. My mother, having been raised by a woman who worked 2 and 3 jobs throughout her childhood, did not know how. I wanted my clothes hand-made, my bread baked fresh, vegetables grown in our backyard and then canned to last us throughout the winter. My mother knew how to sew on buttons and use iron-on hem tape. She had briefly gone through a baking and canning phase in the 70's, but that was before my time. Still, she did the best she could when it came to making my rag doll. I wanted a rag doll just like Laura Ingalls' doll. My mom tried, but as the picture shows, fell a tad short. I loved my doll anyway, and name her Charlotte, just like Laura had done. Charlotte still exists, packed in a box with childhood memorabilia, waiting for a future little girl to play with her. Perhaps by the time that day comes, I will be able to make Charlotte a more attractive companion, although I doubt a doll could be more loved than Charlotte.
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