13 July 2011

Wordless Wednesday: The Dolls I Left Behind

On my last trip back to Poland to bury my Dziadek, my Babcia gave me something that struck me more than anything else about my childhood and also our exodus from Poland.

The two dolls I left behind when we left Poland. 

These were my most beloved toys and we didn't even have enough room to take them with us when we left so my Babcia had kept them all these years for me. 

I don't think many people understand what it was to be an immigrant the way we were. 

I don't know that most people would understand what it must have been like to have to leave everything in the middle of the night, even your most beloved toys.

I didn't remember them in details, but when I held them in my hands, they felt "right".

They were still in one piece but my older daughter picked up the smaller doll and barely bent the leg to play with it and the legs fell off.  I had just finished telling her about the significance of these dolls so she was in tears telling me she had broken it.  I couldn't be upset.  They were over 29 years old at the time.  I just kissed her and told her they would only be for looking at and reminding our family what we went through, our family history.

I couldn't help but laugh a bit that they were obviously "choking hazards", yet, I had never choked on them.  It could be because I didn't have a lot of toys, my parents watched me carefully 24/7, and they taught me (as I taught my own children, to the confusion of some friends) to not put things in my mouth by the age of 6 months old. 

Of course, I was also potty trained at 6 months old.  Not conventionally potty trained, my parents used cloth diapers and "Elimination Communication" before it had such a catchy clinical name.

Do you have anything in your family to remember your family's arrival to the USA like this?


Bill said...

Oh man, what a great thing to come back and find! It's actually a little sad, thinking about how attached to them you must have been.

Luisa Rodríguez said...

It must have been so difficult...
But you know, it's also part of who you are and it's so beautiful to be able to tell these stories..

My father and uncle were also immigrants and I distinctly remember the stories the told me about their childhood and the difficulties they had to go through.

My uncle has such a great sense of humor and I remember this story about the ship that took them from Spain to Brazil and he said:

- do you know why we traveled 3rd class?
-No, why?
-Cause there was no 4th

Many blessings, honey.
Love love love your blog.

Courtney Mroch said...

Wow. The image evoked such a powerful feeling when I read them with them "I don't think many people understand what it was to be an immigrant the way we were." On top of having the word "exodus" in my brain from your first sentence. My Barbies represented a HUGE chunk of my childhood. My mom and sister sent them to me when I moved away from Colorado and it became clear I'd never go home. But I'm still in the States. And I was grown when I left them behind. There's something amaazing about being reunited with childhood toys. And the story of your daughtedr being so upset when the legs fell off...touching! Thank you for sharing this with all of us.

mamawolfe said...

I'm in the midst of great family research, and it's these kinds of stories that I find the most meaningful. Thank you.