When my first daughter was four, my mother gave her a babydoll that I had when I was little girl — Baby Tenderlove — which my daughter promptly shortened to Tendy.
Tendy, by the time my daughter carried her around, was ratty-haired, bald in places, forever dirty, and generally well-worn. My daughter was a single child then, and Tendy morphed into the desired baby sister. Tendy inhabited a unique imaginative place in her life. One afternoon, I was driving through Montpelier when my daughter insisted I pull over now, Mama! as I had driven by Tendy who was allegedly walking on the sidewalk. Without thinking, I pulled over, open the passenger door, instructed Tendy to get in please, and buckle up.
Our household is no longer in the realm of little kids, and yet this imaginative world has spread to our cats now. One is in a PhD program, writing a dissertation on epistemology, while the other is a lifer in preschool. Both enjoy a fresh toy mouse.
….. The cold hammers in around us. I hope you’re all warm, wherever you may be.