We didn’t have a lot when I was little. Toys were also in short supply. Part of that was the lack of money, but it was also a sign of the times. I was a child in the seventies and eighties: it was only in my late childhood that the child-focused marketing and sales machinery got amped up.
Society wasn’t devoid of toys and entertainment: it just wasn’t as all-encompassing. The writing hit the wall with “Star Wars.” The collectibles that came with the movie had to be had. Being left out didn’t feel like an option. I had a tackle box full of the figures, my brother had the Millenium Falcom.
They were fun, as were the Lego kits and the hockey cards. I once made a Lego mousetrap that was featured in the Lego magazine (I toss that bit of trivia out far too often). The Lego remains with my parents to this day, but I gave away a fortune in hockey cards once I finished grade seven.
Such is life.
I didn’t give away Godina, however. I got her when I was seven. She came in a brown box with a window: I could see her sleeping behind the plastic once I ripped off my mother’s lovingly-applied Christmas wrapping.
She was beautiful, a little blonde angel. She had braided ponytails and wore a white pinafore over a pink sweater that matched her slippers and cap. I was devastated when I lost the cap, but mom crocheted me a replacement. Godina’s barefoot in the picture because her slippers are buried somewhere in my hope chest. She doesn’t live there herself, of course – who locks up dolls and stuffies in the dark?
She was a gift from my mother and I’ve loved her all my life, partially-nibbled fingers on her right hand notwithstanding (I was somewhat orally fixated as a child).
The lion was a gift from my brother. He’s Roary. Allan and I have a complicated history, but this gift was made with huge love. I’d have been around eleven, I suppose. Roary still lives in my bedroom. Godina hangs out in the library with the rest of the dolls. I enjoy my collection immensely, but most of the dolls therein are adult acquisitions and thus don’t have the same hold on my heart.