She had such a confusing childhood. Nothing unlike many children have, but she didn't understand so many things. At a very early age she learned how to not make noise because it might make her father mad. When he was mad he was very mean. She thought it was all her fault because she didn't know what else could possibly make someone so angry. She tried so hard to be quiet, not leave toys laying around, and she tried to be invisible.
She learned to escape into her little fantasy world in her head. It was just like a television show. You know...the one where the family all sits at dinner, laughing, and the kids tell the parents how swell they are. The one where the father calmly explains why he said "no" to a particular request. The one where the father never hit the mother or the mother was never lying on the kitchen floor with blood around her. The television shows that were an escape from that was happening in her house, not daily, but too often. Ozzie and Harriett, The Cleaver Family..they were all what she wished for.
She was so confused but relieved when her father told her that he was moving out. He blamed her mother, saying she was a bad mother. This was very confusing because she seemed like a really good mother. In fact her mother was the one that always protected her.
There were words swirling that a 6 year old didn't understand. Divorce. Alcoholic. Safety. There was whispering. Nobody in her town had parents that were divorced. She was the only one and everyone was whispering about it which made her want that fantasy life even more. She had no idea that the reason people were whispering is that they were worried for her...she was too young to understand all of it. All she knew is that people were looking and talking about her and it was embarrassing.
That Christmas she asked Santa for a doll. This was a special doll that actually moved when you wound up the special wheel on her back. He told her that if she was very good, she would get the doll. She was certain it wouldn't be there because she must have been very bad. Her father had moved to a different house, her mother was nervous, the police stopped by to say hi but she knew that police arrested bad people and took them away and she was sure she had been bad for all of this to happen.
When I found this picture I had planned on telling all of you that this Santa was actually our mailman that dressed up on Christmas Eve and for $10 he would make a stop at your house, pose for a few pix and be on the way to his next house. I am here to tell you, Mr. Bozer was THE BEST SANTA EVER! He was a good friend of my mom's and spent an extra few minutes at my house before heading back to the North Pole to load up the sleigh. It was an amazing thing for me....I actually had the REAL Santa come to my house. I didn't know for years that so many people were trying so hard to make me happy. They understood all the things that were happening that I thought were my fault. Now I look back and wonder what would have happened had they not all been there to support my mom. After my parents divorced, many asked her what took her so long. You have to understand, this was a different time. A time when 50% of marriages didn't end. A time when you stayed married no matter what.
I started this post to tell you a happy story of a little girl who got the doll she really wanted. The one that she would treat with love and could be the baby she could take care of and protect. I had no idea all of this other stuff would come out. I guess some memories stick around long after you thought they were gone.