My white daughter’s favorite toy is a black baby doll.
Here’s the story: Amanda was taking our three children through the international hoarders’ Mecca that you might know as Walmart. With just a couple of items to purchase, the boys had convinced Amanda to take a quick trip through the toy department. As they passed by numerous items, Gloria began to reach out and scream for a baby doll. As Amanda held different ones up to her to see for which one was she clamoring, she would emphatically shake her head at the dolls she didn’t want.
She finally got the baby doll she wanted – this cute, cuddly, smiley, black baby doll. She picked it up, began to hug the doll, and started to say in a soothing manner,”Oohh, wee. Oohh, wee.” After some giggles and a few moments of cuddling, Amanda tried to take the doll back from her. Bad mistake. She clutched onto this baby for dear life and began to scream as if she was being attacked.
While Amanda tried unsuccessfully to distract her long enough to put the doll back, Eli came up with a solution.
“Mom, can we buy her that baby doll?”
“Eli, we can’t buy everything that we want. She will be OK.”
“But Mom, I think she likes that baby doll because it looks like me. Can I buy it for her?”
“Do you have the money with you?”
“Well, no. But you could buy it now, and I have some money from my birthday in my piggy bank that I could give you when we get home. Please, Mom.”
Needless to say, this baby has found a home at the Agnew residence. And no matter how hard the boys try to lure her away from the doll with other white baby dolls, she still has her favorite.
Eli says that she loves it so much because it looks like him. I agree with him. She’s smitten with both of her brothers, but this particular baby doll does have similar features as Eli. As I watch the way she kisses and hugs that baby doll, it’s as if she is repaying Eli for all the kisses and hugs he gives her. It’s almost as if she is watching over this baby doll in honor of the way her big brother has watched over her so well.
As Amanda walked through Walmart, she was greeted with the usual stares that our family gets plus a few extra this time. The lady checking her out looked troubled and confused by the whole exchange of just trying to tilt the baby doll out of Gloria’s clinched fists long enough to scan the item. Amanda was just trying to stop laughing long enough to pay and navigate out into the parking lot.
Some people will think this baby doll in our home is odd. It’s the same people who think our family is odd. As a multiethnic family, we have grown used to questioning looks from strangers, but we are not accountable to them. We are accountable to God. And, I believe, that He thinks our family looks quite normal to Him.
I rejoice that my daughter loves both of her brothers equally.
I rejoice that my children see an embrace from a white person or a black person no differently.
I rejoice that my children are learning at an early age to look past differences and look at one’s heart.
I rejoice that my family celebrates diversity instead of condemning it.
And I rejoice over this black baby doll that serves as a daily reminder that God has called our family to something different, and I wouldn’t change that for one moment.