Note: No one has ever figured out the ailment of the dolly on the island of misfit toys, until now. She was a toy from the future, a doll with measles, cast out of society.
By Kim Rossi
Let's take a trip back to Christmas, 1962. A little girl named Michele had a Christmas wish for Santa. Michele wanted to play Mommy. Mommies used to take care of sick children. It was part of their job description. Sniffles and sneezes, spotty rashes and wheezes. That was childhood, after all. Get sick, build an immune system, grow up. Michele got a wonderful new doll from Santa that year. Her name was Hedda.
Hedda smiled at her Mommy
Hedda had one more face. In 1962, it was a face that every Mommy recognized and knew how to care for and love. So did doctors. In 2009, this face would instill fear, panic, disdain, loathing and angry cries that Michele was a very, very bad Mommy to Hedda.
Hedda had the measles! See the little hole in her mouth for the thermometer?
Yes, in 1962, measles were a common childhood illness. And little girls played with dollies that had the measles, and made them all better. So did doctors for children who got the measles. The full name of the doll was "Hedda Get Better." Michele is my big sister. She found a Hedda doll on ebay this Fall and sent her to me. Perhaps I'll invite Hedda to Autism One, if she's feeling up to it.
How about your child? Is there a magic button you can twist so that he/she gets better? I wish there were. For each of us.
Kim Rossi is Executive Director of Autism Ages. Her book from Skyhorse Publishing, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa; A Life Raising Three Daughters with Autism is available on Amazon and elsewhere.