Hello Dolly, oh well hello dolly

Hello Dolly, oh well hello dolly

I asked for reader’s questions to use as writing prompts and Lucy from Lucy’s Reality asked “What is my favorite childhood memory?”


I am lucky, with the exception of my father passing away when I was only fourteen, I had an excellent childhood.  I was the only child to two loving parents.  I have so many great memories, but this one just makes me smile….


My mom was in her late thirties when she had me.  She was used to being very busy and worked her entire life.  She stopped working when I was born.  Then when I was about two years old, her mother had her leg amputated, and moved in with us.  My mother became her primary caregiver.  She passed away when I was four years old, right around the time when I started kindergarten.  My mom went from being very busy to having nothing to do.  She wanted to go back to work, but my dad was against the idea.  Classic 70’s bull….  But she started working part-time anyway.


He didn’t want “her money”, so she used it for all fun stuff.  I had no complaints!


When I was in forth or fifth grade Cabbage Patch Kids came out, and they were all the rage.  Like everyone my age I was dying for one.  They were IMPOSSIBLE to find.  It took a while, but I finally got my first one, Marcy Marjorie.   Soon after, my mom decided she wanted one too.  I then had a “brother” – Herbie Brent.


Then something strange happened.  My mom became obsessed with the dolls.  She would pick me up at school, and before having to do homework, we would drive around to various toy stores searching out for different dolls – a brown haired boy with green eyes, a red haired girl with brown eyes.  Our collection grew and grew.  My dad was oblivious.  My mom and I had a blast.  Before I knew it there was over forty Cabbage Patch Kids on display in the spare bedroom.  But my favorite moment was when we couldn’t find a blond haired girl with short hair and green eyes no matter how hard we looked.  Finally, rather than give up our quest and admitting defeat,  we gave a blond haired boy with green eyes a “sex change” in the back seat of my mom’s car….


A few years later my dad passed away.  Working became not something my mom did for amusement, but something she had to do in order to keep a roof over our heads and food in the fridge.  She often looked back on the days of frivolously spending money with regret.  After all, if she knew then what the future had in store for us, she would have saved that money. All the money she spent on those dolls could have been put to better use later – making both of our lives much easier.  But we didn’t know it at the time.  We were carefree – a mother and daughter just fooling around.  And I think that that is why the memory stands out so much.  It truly was an age of innocence…


So now I ask you… What is your favorite childhood memory?

48 thoughts on “Hello Dolly, oh well hello dolly

  1. We will always look back and wonder where the money went. My daughter’s cabbage patch doll collection is almost as big as yours. She even has preemie twins.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Hilary. Time enjoyed, even if it was ‘wasting money’, can never be taken away and will always be there to brighten a sad moment. Hooray to those good times!
    p.s. I have never heard about Cabbage Patch Kids – LOL

    1. Claudia – really? you never heard of cabbage patch kids???? You are right… I look back on these memories and smile, and will always remember them….

  3. Hello There, Hilary! What a neat piece. And, yes, wouldn’t it be nice to have a crystal ball to best know how to live each day? But, when I think of the happy memories you have with your mother about those dolls, that was money well spent. I think the magical happiness of childhood can carry one through many an adult sadness. I sure enjoyed reading this and enjoyed building the collection with you. Where are all of the little sweeties now? 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Much Love, Fondly, Robin

    1. Sunbonnet – Hey Robin! It would be great to have that ball, but it would ruin so much of the excitement. I wouldn’t really want to know what the future held. you are so right… These memories will last a lifetime, and always make me smile…. Sadly the dolls are all gone now….

  4. I loved this story 🙂 It reminded me of when I was a young mom. I wanted to find a CPK for my daughter so bad, but was unwilling to fight the crowds. So I figured out how to make them. And then I sold quite a few! My aunt would take orders at Bell Tel and I’d make them custom…whatever color eyes and hair, sex. The only choice people didn’t get was what they wore. I shopped at garage sales for the newborn clothes. I signed and numbered their butts and quit somewhere around 500.

    1. Karen – I love your story! How cool was it that you made your own version and sold them. Do you have pictures?

  5. Hilary, thanks for sharing such a lovely memory. I love learning more about you. Since you shared, I shared, on my blog. Only fair 🙂

  6. It is a beautiful story, Hilary. I had two cabbage patch dolls one was your typical blonde eye girl and the other was one my Aunt brought back from Spain. She was lovely in her silk dress and high heels. I wish I had held onto her. It is interesting as a parent we started with no money and had to work to get to where we are…In the early days everything was secondhand and we went to lots of garage sales. Now that the kids are old enough, they do chores, and save their money for the expensive ticket items that they want.

    I think we spoil them in different ways with all of their activities and travel. But at the same time we are always nervous about the future. It really is important to have a rainy day fund. You never know what will happen in life.

    1. Darcie – your Spanish Cabbage patch kid sounds so cool…. I think “spoiled in other ways” are the best kind of ways. Stuff is stuff, but memories are priceless. so many years later, I don’t care at all about having so many dolls. I do love how much fun I had with my mom getting them….

  7. What a sweet memory, Hilary! If your mother had put that money away instead, you wouldn’t have had those wonderful times together, so, IMO, it was so worth it! I’m an only child too, as mentioned, but my childhood was less pleasant. Anyway, there were some good times, mostly involving travel to different countries, while living in Germany. Christmases at my German grandparents’ house were nice too.

    1. Debbie – I am sorry… And you know what, you are so right… the memories and the time we spent together was priceless (although paying for college tuition may have been easier if we had 1/3 of the dolls )

  8. So sorry you lost some very important people so yearly in your life. That memory sounds like it was really a fun one. I remember when my sister was searching for those dolls so her girls wouldn’t be disappointed from Santa that year they came out! My daughter was a few years behind her girls so they were available for her. She had a few. You know with retirement approaching quickly here for us I can look back and kick myself for wasted money over the years too. We live and learn…..

    1. Debby – you are right.. we live, we learn… but i guess that is part of the fun of the journey. If we knew all the answers before hand, where would the fun be?

  9. That is quite the memory. I can’t image having that many Cabbage Batch dolls. I never knew what they were until we moved here and I had kids. They have made a bit of a comeback and middle got one when she had her eye surgery years ago. I don’t even know where it went.

    1. Susi – it was pretty crazy, but very fun… I was wondering if they made a comeback as I did see a bunch in stores

  10. It’s always easy to look back and say I shouldn’t have done this, or I should have done that. At least you got a good memory out of the experience, however bittersweet it may be.

  11. I had a phase like that a long time ago and collected those darn Beanie babies. I still have a whole bunch. You just never know what is going to happen in the future so living in the moment is good thing. Take care. We need pictures of that Lucy.

    1. Marg – oh, we did the beanie baby collecting too…. And I agree with you, we have to enjoy today because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring… oh, there will be plenty of Lucy pictures… wait until you see Saturday’s post…

  12. Nah, it wasn’t a waste at all if it created those wonderful memories for you. I am curious how you gave the boy doll a “sex change” though! LOL

    1. Janet – Okay, maybe sex change isn’t the proper term… maybe made him a cross dresser would be better… “)

  13. Thank you for sharing this with us, Hilary. I’m glad your mom didn’t think ahead, because if she had, you would not have had all *those* good memories. They are worth more than all the money in the world.

    1. Meowmeowmans – you are so right… another reason why we have to live for today rather than worry about tomorrow.

  14. Here from ICLW. OMG, I would have cut off my right arm for a Cabbage Patch Kid way back then. Fortunately, Santa found one for me. 😉 I wonder if your mom heard you telling this story…would she still feel regret? Seems absolutely worth it to me.


    1. Maria – I spoke to her about it this AM after she read the blog. She does regret it a little – things would have been easier if she didn’t waste so much – but then again, life wouldn’t have been so much fun…

  15. what a great memory. I think it’s amazing that you had those moments with your mom — it probably gave you something nice to look back on when things were harder.
    Can you believe I still have my Cabbage Patch Doll? still in the original clothes and everything. it’s really cool to see my girls play with her.

  16. Isn’t it peculiar when it’s the adults who end up getting more into the collection than the child?

    1. William – it sure is.. but who am I to judge. I am having just as much fun with Lucy’s cat toys as she is…

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