Seven years ago I became a mother. My little baby turned seven years old this weekend, and the memories of that pregnancy, the thoughts of impending motherhood back then, and the time it has taken to become her Mother, it all came back to me this last week. The day she was born was full of surprises, and a lot of craziness. At the end of that day, we drove trough a dark street in Mexico, in my mother's truck, with the fattest baby I had ever had the pleasure of holding: my own daughter.
I always knew my first born was going to be a girl. I knew it deep in my heart. And this daughter of mine stirred thoughts and feelings within me I never envisioned. All of a sudden I had all this creative energy in me, I just wanted to make...make things for her, make food for her, knit for her (although I didn't know how to knit back then), take care of her. She was the reason why I made my first doll. My first doll ever was her third birthday present. I have been making dolls ever since. This time she asked me for a doll, "a baby" she said, "a doll that is a real baby, for my birthday" she reiterated.
Tough entreprise this one I am in. Both my daughters firmly believe I can make whatever they want. I wish to believe that as well, but reality strikes to a different tune most of the time. I did try however. I tried to make her a doll that feels like a baby, and Baby Jill was born late on Friday night...a few hours before the birthday girl woke up on the day of her very own seventh birthday. Such a special occasion in a child's life, the end of her first seven-year cycle, the beginning of a new one.
Baby Jill has been a birth of many sorts, in many ways. I feel deep within me the stirring of new ideas and new thoughts, new directions to pursue next year. I feel that my daughter will be walking a much different road in the next seven years, and my parenting needs to address that; the dollmaker in me will also change, since it is deeply connected to who I am as a Mother. As my children have grown, so my dolls have evolved. I spent more days than I would like to admit thinking about this new doll, about the "right" curves, the right angles but in the end, it was all about the intention behind the doll, and I had to let go of my expectations and what I wanted this doll to be, and instead accept that I am but a mere vehicle. That I am here as much to experience and learn from my mistakes, as to enjoy the creative process, and that I do. Deeply I do.
Every time I hold Baby Jill, named by my daughter on her birthday by the way, I think of the many births and paths and cycles I have experienced. I look back at the dark moments of my life, the rough patches, and I can't help to smile seeing where I am now. Mothering. Creating. Dreaming. My path has been full of corners and misadventures, but I wouldn't change one bit. Even though Baby Jill is not the "perfect" doll I wanted her to be, she is perfect in her own way. I was reminded this weekend that it is not all about the right pattern, the right weight, the right fabric, the right proportions, even though all of that helps and is extremely important when creating a doll, it is also equally important the intent, the energy, the thought behind it, the love that you have for what you do and for those that will receive it.
Baby Jill is a smashing hit I have to conclude. Not just for the birthday girl, but for me. She will be a constant reminder that it's not all about the right path, the right light, the right words, the right experiences, the right childhood, it is about living. And we live through good and bad....we need both. Now if you will excuse me, I will go and cuddle with Baby Jill while my daughter is not looking. And I have no choice but the make just one more, to see another baby come out of my hands.