I can still remember receiving one of my dolls for Christmas. My sister received a similar doll, but mine had BLONDE HAIR and a beautiful baby blue dress with a lace overlay. She was beautiful. I am embarrassed to say that I actually still have her. She may be missing some shoes though…
My sister received one also, but um….hers had dark hair! Strangely, back then, I felt like the winner because I received a doll with blonde hair! What is with that? I think that it is something to do with one of my early influences…..She was very blonde, she always had amazing red lips, immaculately dressed, she smelt like heaven….and she was fun! She was Aunty Lonie (Leonie). Now this doll looked nothing like her of course, but the blonde!
Needless to say, I have gotten over my ranking for blonde and embrace my brunette-ness….and now, living in Parkes where I like to bust a bit of the Priscilla Presley look for the Elvis Festival, I am very happy with what I was blessed with and have no desire to change.
My real doll arrived late in the 1970’s. This doll had dark hair, was very loud when not sleeping and I loved him immediately….my own real doll!
I think around four to five years, I started to work out how the whole mum and dad thing works. Of course, I knew who I would marry and I had this new doll to play with, so pretty much life was sorted.
School was also a new thing that year at Leeton Infants. I was one of the youngest in my class with the beautiful Mrs Blanco. She had perfect, bobbed, straight dark hair.
Our school Principal, who’s name I won’t mention, scared the wits out of me! Back then, the cane or ruler were still in regular use and even though I was a goody two shoes, I always lived in fear that one day I would be framed for something and suffer the humiliation of corporal punishment. How ridiculous to have a shy, timid little four year old in fear of the cane! It wasn’t really the thought of the pain that I feared, but the humiliation of such an event….anyway,that never happened.
Lots to learn that year, big sister responsibilities, learning what it means to have a boy in the family after two girls, school and friends!
As I progressed through infants and the excitement of having my sister at school as well, I remained meek and timid, unless I was in the role of protector for my siblings or others who fell within the realms of needing protection.
I was fortunate in that I had a mix of several nationalities in infants, which made life richer, even though at the time I might not have appreciated it. Life must have been pretty hard for some children. Even just getting to school in a clean uniform, with lunch, when I knew that at least for a few of them, they didn’t go home to mum, or dad and had a multitude of complications in their little lives that most adults would find a challenge.
From a young age I had insight and an understanding that people faced challenges beyond their control that were worse than anything that I could comprehend and to keep my problems (what I now refer to as first world problems) in check with reality. Now I am not under any illusion that I was perfect, because I know that I was far from that….and could have done things that I didn’t and could have stood up for things when I didn’t. I think we all have those moments.
Why am I telling you this?….because all of this builds up to current day activities, appreciations, understanding, that, if it weren’t for being forced to share desks and classrooms…and do folk dancing with people that were different to me, I doubt that I would be doing what I am doing now.
…..and just a note for those who had ever considered attending the Parkes Elvis Festival…..we welcome everyone to the Elvis Festival….even if you are blonde…or grey!
And the living doll….he grew up too, but I still love him.
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