My mom has told me the same story four days before my birthday for as long as I can remember. Over the years she’s either called me or sent an email retelling me just how it all happened that day. Sometimes, I think that day remains in her mind more clearly than my actual birthday.
It goes something like this: “Thinking of you this morning. Actually snowed last night like that morning on my last day of teaching before you were born. I remember the crunch of the car door. I remember the looks on your sister’s faces from the backseat when I pulled out of the garage crunching my drivers door. I remember the snow coming into the car because the door could not close tight.”
I’m originally from Madison, Wisconsin. I’m the youngest of three girls, and my mom worked as a teacher for many years.
When I stop to try and imagine my mom’s pregnant body trying to hold her car door shut as she was driving my sister’s around, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry for her. She’s said she can look back and laugh now, but no wonder it’s etched in her mind. I love hearing this story.
Now, why does this particular story come to mind when I think of the color yellow?
Tonight I pulled out my very first doll. She’s yellow.
She was a gift from my grandpa, my mom’s dad, and my uncle, one of her four brothers. They just so happen to be my first visitors at the hospital I was born in. I’m guessing they may have picked it up in the gift shop on their way in. I’ve had it ever since.
How does this connect with the story above? They came down from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to fix my mom’s car. They didn’t know when they got there that my mom had just had me. I guess I also came earlier than expected. Imagining them walking in with this particular doll makes me smile, I’m sure it made my mom smile too. I guess because of the type of doll she is, and simply because of the contrast to the humble and modest type of men they both are, or were. My grandfather passed away when I was four.
This doll always sat on a shelf in my room above my bed. I saw it everyday. I believe it is why I have a strong feeling of happiness and cheerfulness when I see the color yellow.
As you can see, this doll is a southern bell. Being from the midwest, not really something I could immediately relate to growing up. She’s not a doll I played with at all. In fact, she still has the tag on her. She looks brand new! It’s as though I preserved and protected her, admired her and just looked and dreamed about her.
But I cherished her, completely. Maybe, because she was so different from anything else I had or encountered over the years.
Some things about her are like me however. She has blonde hair and blue eyes like I do. She has beautiful curls that I must have so wanted to uncurl, but I never did. I have naturally curly hair.
I remember lifting up her hoop skirt and checking out her legs and shoes. Yup, they’re still there. I’d count the three layers of her dress and carefully place them back down.
Her hat I remember used to get a little dusty. I’d blow it off a little once in a while and gently touch the long bow, but never tried to untie it. She’s even carrying three little white silk flowers that must have been so tempting to take off. But I never did.
I love this doll. To me it represents elegance, class, and sophistication. I think as a young girl I was drawn to things that made me want to take care of them and things that made me dream. I never named her though. I’m not sure why.
It may have been an odd choice for a newborn gift. But they absolutely selected the right gift for me. I have enjoyed her since 1982.
This doll is why I believe I love the color yellow.
Do you know why you love your favorite color?
I’d love to hear your color story. Leave a comment below.