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Molly is a blue eyed, brown haired American Girl doll that has been the apple of my daughter's eye since she was 5.  She is now 9.  Miss Molly has been through some changes since her arrival.  Her hair isn't smooth and shiny anymore.  In fact, it's more tangled than anything.  Her eye glasses were misplaced long ago.  Her skin is ruddier than the original creamy ivory complexion she arrived with.  The most noticeable change is her missing arm.  We aren't sure how it happened.  One day her arm just fell off.  Daughter was devastated.  Daughter is one of those people who have many unexplained phobias.  One of her fears so happens to be amputees.  Even as a toddler she would begin shrieking and hiding behind me at the sight of anyone with a missing finger or limb.  We left many stores and restaurants because of her fear.  There is no polite way to explain this to someone suffering her irrational fear and no need for them to suffer her reaction.  So when Molly lost her arm it was Daughter being confronted with her own fear.

At first Molly was flung naked into the toy box.  I wondered if we would ever see her again.  I would occasionally notice Molly's clothes and shoes out and put them back in her case but Molly had still not made an appearance.  Months later Molly made her way out of the toy box.  I found her lying naked beside it, face down.  This was Molly.  She wasn't just a doll.  I had held her for my daughter in church while she "slept", helped dress her, and played out stories with her.  She had gone on family vacations with us, been included in pictures and was a sleeping companion for years.  I couldn't just leave her there.  I dug out the plaid sweater, blue skirt and Mary janes she originally came in. I dressed her as I would my own daughter, braided her hair and laid her on Daughter's bed.  She laid there and waited for her "mother" to return.  

Daughter came home from school and flung her backpack on the bed.  She didn't even notice Molly at first.  She laid back on her bed and put her headphones in and listened to her latest Taylor Swift download.  Soon she realized she wasn't alone.  Molly was there beside her where she belonged.  She picked her up and hugged her.  She hadn't realized how much she had missed her until that moment.  Daughter brought her to me excited about the reunion.  Molly was back!  Some bonds just can't be broken regardless of how many months are spent hiding naked in the toy box!

Ideally, I would tell you Daughter overcame her fear.  It still makes her uncomfortable but she is now able to see beyond the missing appendage to the person.  It's a blessing when someone realizes her discomfort and reaches out to her and makes her laugh.  In time I am sure this fear will fade away.  

Molly is still missing an arm.  We have considered sending her to the American Girl hospital but have yet to follow through.  Daughter can not bear to think of her stuffed into a shoe box and going through the mail alone.  If we do send her she has insisted on holes in the box so that she can breathe.  Today we discussed it again.  Daughter came to me and said, "We don't need to send Molly to the hospital.  She doesn't have to be pretty for us to love her."   My daughter is so wise.  

Someday, I would love to be somebody's Molly.

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