Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about boys and their dolls -- little boys, not grown up boys like me. My wife, Julie, was the daughter of a flame-haired, green-eyed Irish Mother and a dark-eyed full-blood Cherokee Father. Julie had beautiful red hair, bright green eyes, and dark skin with high cheekbones. She was a very successful model in her younger days. Our daughter, Alexandra, looks just like her. I wanted her named Alexandra because her nickname was supposed to be Sasha. But, she is called Alex by everyone.
When our son, Adam, was born it was as if every single drop of Irish DNA and my German-Swedish DNA had been filtered out and his Grandfather's Cherokee DNA had triumphed. Swimming in the gene pool can often produce interesting results.
People would innocently ask if Adam was adopted because he certainly did not look like either of us.
It was Adam's dark complexion, black hair, and deep chocolate eyes that I saw in my first Gregor playing in the window of "dollsandreams" so long ago.
Eventually, Adam wanted a Gregor of his own and named him WOLF. To this day I have no idea why. They were constant companions and from time to time Adam acquired a few companions (from my toy collection) to keep WOLF company. There was a 1930 velvet elephant with one broken tusk and a felt Alpine teddybear missing an eye. A tiny red wooden horse and a strange rag doll rabbit completed the group. WOLF's favorite toy was a tiny camera that had a button you could push to view images of places around the world.
Adam and Alex were home-schooled so they didn't have to put up with anyone's foolishness about their "different" appearance or their doll companions. They shared an interest in all types of toys -- both had trucks and dolls and wooden building blocks to play with. They shared time but not their toys which they were extremely possessive of.
When our family became bi-coastal, Adam always brought WOLF and his gaggle of misbegotten toys with him. They live with him still and are on loan for this photo. Adam still has a trunk full of outfits and "stuff" that WOLF has worn and played with over the years.
I don't know if Adam saw himself in WOLF or not. I do know that WOLF was his first real friend and confidant. They shared hundreds of adventures together before his sister was born.
As an only child I had many similar companions growing up. Well, I still have them now at 76 because I'm still in the process of growing up. I think toys help us to express aspects of ourselves as children that we cannot share with the adults around us. Children are smaller than adults and I think a doll becomes someone safe, and smaller, to confide in. I know that WOLF is the guardian of many secrets long forgotten by Adam.
That is his job, and he does it very well.