Rosateresa Castro-Vargas

I don't remember where or how I got her, but when I became conscious of my world, my baby doll was there for me. Although my family and I are darkskin "Puerto Ricans", my doll was Caucasina looking, probably because there were not that many darkskin dolls back in the 1950's.

She was chubby, like a ten months old baby. Rosie pink cheeks, soft and cool, I think her skin was heavy rubber. Her most endearing feature was her mouth that was in a permanent pucker as if to accept her bottle every time.

I played with her so many times! She always had a different name. My sister always called her the doll with the puckered lips!

In time the "skin" around her neck began to crack. The color of her lips faded. She lost a few fingers. But she was my baby, and I still loved her.

One day, my sister and I were playing mother, and I went looking for my doll. She wasn't in any of the usual places. I looked hard.

Finally, I went to the kitchen and asked my mother if she had seen my doll. "No," she said. "Don't you have that other doll to play with?"

It was not until several years later, when I was about twelve, that she told me that one day when I was not home the garbage man had come along and she had given my baby to him. I felt so sad, even today, after over forty years of losing her I mourn her loss.

What ever possessed my mother to throw her away? I'll never know as mom has been dead for twenty five years.

I miss them both.