It took many weeks of working – a bit here, a little there – but these two very special dolls were finally finished. Some of the delay was due to me, the maker, wanting so very much for them to be as perfect as could be, as these sisters were meant for two very special sisters – my Granddaughters, Ali and Norah.
I learned in the making of these that custom is hard. Knowing the likes and dislikes of the receiver makes one question and evaluate every detail – are the eyes the right color? do the cheeks match the hair? is the hair the right color? is the style right for each girl? The best making happened when I wasn’t really thinking about it, but just doing it – letting my heart guide my hands.
There was, of course, many suggestions from each doll on what to do. “I want a bow in my hair”, said one. “Long braids”, said the other. “My dress first, please”, they both asked at the same time. This making of two dolls at once, both wanting to be first and also wanting their sister to be done at the same time made my sewing space even noisier than usual as they each gave me their wishes, often speaking over each other so I couldn’t tell which was talking. Sisters.
One morning when I went to my sewing space, they were quiet. They just sat there and looked at me expectantly. “What more do you want?” I asked. “We’re ready,” they said. “Now? Already? Surely some time for some pictures first?” I asked. “No,” they told me. “It’s time for us to go.”
They watched me as I gathered the wrapping and packing supplies, whispering to each other. And finally, they were ready. Traveling cloaks fastened, pointed shoes firmly on each foot (I did have to make sure they were wearing the correct shoes, as they had changed several times while I was busy in the other room), ribbons tied in their braids, and an extra dress for the journey, they laughed with excitement at setting out for their new home. They were a bit worried that I would send them on their journey separately, but once I tucked them in together they were quite happy, and I could hear them giggling and conspiring new adventures together even as I taped their traveling trunk closed. And these two went on their way. I do hope they aren’t too demanding for their owners!