The carpet cleaners are coming this afternoon. I like to get my money's worth by moving every single piece of furniture I can lift from the carpeted areas to the uncarpeted areas of our home. I cleared my closet floor so that I could stretch the value of my carpet cleaning dollar even farther. Then, I moved to Alan's closet. I was on my hands and knees clearing the floor of shoes that were scattered about. Just as I was considering whether or not to move the ice cream freezer [it's a wooden real-deal freezer of which Alan is very proud and greatly protective], like Dorothy discovering the Tin Man's foot in the underbrush of the forest, I noticed a little black-socked foot. Raising my chin, I saw my old friend, Henry Henrington.
Alan and I are sentimental old fools. We each keep private caches of treasures that we can't quite relegate to the attic. Memories kept at the fingertips. Sweet snacks for moments when we hunger for days gone by.
I keep small mementos boxes labeled "treasures" in a cabinet in my bedroom. Trinkets from the days of little superheros running through the house saving the day and pillow notes gathered from visiting Meems at her house on Rockview.
One day I stumbled upon this little jacket that Jonathan wore as a toddler. It was hanging in the back of Alan's closet. When I reached for it saying something about "time for Goodwill," Alan retrieved it. "It reminds me..." Alan said softly. He, too, misses those little boys. This morning, I discovered that he had also tucked one little boy water shoe into a sleeve of the jacket and hung a RMNP trail map on the hanger. Gazing at the ensemble, I could hear little Brycie's voice as he stood by the river that runs past Castle Mountain Lodge in Estes Park. "Daddy, can we staya little longa?"
Henry Henrington is a relic from my mother's house. Passed down to me. Immediately passed down to Reed. For the past 3 years, he has bunked with Reed at Baylor. When Alan helped the boys move out of their shared apartment in June, he found Henry in the throw-away pile along with stinky socks and ripped up t-shirts. He took little Henry by the hand and brought him to his final resting place - our home.
I wish that I could track down the person who made this apparently ambiguous doll so many years ago. I would love to follow the loving hands that glued his little red felt lips just above his double dot nose to the first child it terrified in the middle of the night to the garage sale table where it sat waiting for my little mother to grin with satisfaction and wag it home to the Rockview house.
I have no idea what Meems saw in Henry Henrington. I have no idea why Reed gazed down at the icy blue eyes surrounded by black lashes and bright red "kissy lips" and declared, "It's a boy!" All I know is, because my mom loved Henry, I will love Henry.
I must run. I need to find a place to hide Henry while the carpet cleaners are here. Otherwise, I'll have to come up with some reasonable explanation for why my husband has this lovely doll in his closet. Maybe I'll just leave him propped up on that chair in my office/guest room along with a placard reading "Don't ask."