Today is the sixth birthday of Elisabeth's first friend. We met C when she was 16 months old and Elisabeth was but a wee babe of three months. Her mama, along with two other women, formed my core of support in those early -- sometimes stumbling, sometimes jubilant -- days of motherhood. For three years, C and Elisabeth were the only girls in our collective growing brood. (Now a total of 10 children between the four of us -- 6 boys and 4 girls.) And at first, that 14 month age difference seemed huge. But the girls have grown together and I take such joy in observing their friendship.
Writing this post is a whole flood of emotions for me. Both in the realization that this girl, this one-time baby, is a big six-year-old now, and in the sheer nervous energy left from this huge project, completed yesterday:
With this having only been my third doll to complete, it was still a learning process for me. But I came to love this doll as much as the others I made. In fact, parting with this doll, whom I lovingly dubbed "Frances" during her making, was a little tragic for me as I dropped Elisabeth off at the birthday party this afternoon.
was is a huge lesson in letting go for me. I am not just letting go of a doll, you know? Of course you know. I'm having to let go of all that crafter's anxiety: "Will my handmade gift be good enough? What if she doesn't like it? It would be like rejecting me! Or is it too much? Oh, dear, is this gift over the top? " etc. And then, there's that whole letting go of our children bit. You know, because they're actually growing up. Right before my very eyes.
More about the doll. I used the vintage strawberry fabric from the recent estate sale, orange yarn hair in honor of our little strawberry-blonde friend, vintage shell buttons on the back of her pinafore, and vintage ribbon on her knittted shoes. (All other materials are new.)
I also made her a birthday crown (100% wool felt, but not plant-dyed) to coordinate with the crown I knew C's mama was making for her this year. Not knowing what the doll's eventual name would be (C's crown has her initial on it), I just embroidered a strawberry of my own design.
You can see more pictures of the doll on my flickr page.
Happy birthday, sweet C!