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?