The ugliest doll in the shop.
“Unconditional love…unconditional love…” I repeated my mantra to love my baby no matter what. I WOULD unconditionally love my son, …what was his name? I continued to read.
Really? REALLY? With respect, Xavier Roberts, when you designed Cabbage Patch Kids, you seriously decided that there was a kid out there who was going to be insanely happy to be themother of a bald boy named Horace Cleeves? H O R A C E.
This was a moral crossroads in my young life. Eight year old Michelle had to make the call.
Horace Cleeves and I sat together, eyes locked, sunlight glaring off his powder-scented bald pate. I took in the hideous shoes, diahroea-coloured tracksuit, lack of dimples, brown eyes andhard plastic where memories of hairdressing moments were supposed to be made.
My heart melted. I loved him.
Horace, my bald, brown-eyed, undimpled, stylistically-challenged son never left my side after that. I defended him when girls were mean, I allowed him to express his feminine side when he wanted to wear frilly dresses and I kissed and kissed that hard, shiny head.
Then, one day, another little girl came along and Horace was adopted once again. I was a little sad but it was time. I moved from kissing Horace’s bald head to practice-kissing my pillow. Slowly, slowly, I grew up.
I am now 38 years old.
Thirty years since Horace. And now I find myself facing a similar cross-road.
Every day, I am faced with my own balding head in the mirror as Alopecia takes more of my hair.
Like my eight year old self, I’m not happy. I don’t like what I see. Not at all. Tears prick at the corners of my eyes as I stare at the spot where the light glares at me from a multitude of bald spots on my own head. I feel that familiar temptation to cry and yell at that Great Xavier Roberts In The Sky that THIS IS NOT FAIR.
Then I look into the brown eyes in the mirror and they stare back at me. I take in the lack of dimples and the emptiness where only memories of braids now reside. And I realise that I love this imperfect woman in the mirror. Unconditionally. She isn’t the prettiest or best-dressed. She has no crowning glory to boast. But I love her regardless. I have to. She’s all I have.
Maybe, when he created a plain, brown-eyed, dimple-free, bald Cabbage Patch boy named Horace Cleeves, Xavier Roberts knew what he was doing after all.
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