He talks to his doll, picking it up and holding it close to his chest.
I found the superhero doll on Etsy, deciding to purchase it after the creator offered to customize the skin tone and fabric. E has four other dolls that he loves. This new one would be the final one for a while, bringing the total to five, a good number for our small house.
E loves his dolls. He pushes them around in the doll carriage, rolls around on the floor with all of them, hugs and kisses them. He is affectionate, gentle, adoring. At times, he brings different ones to bed with him at night, seemingly to give them all the chance to snuggle with him through the night.
Tonight, I sit on the couch, watching him with his companions while my heart feels like it’s doubling as the time passes. I am so happy my boy has his dolls so he can share his love and his feelings.
Often, I remember the quote along the lines of “I’d rather raise strong children than repair broken men,” and while I understand the general sentiment, I have revised it to think of it, instead, as raising a child who is comfortable with a range of emotions (not just anger), who has empathy, resilience, who can give and receive love, and who is not confined to patriarchal gender norms that make him conform to unrealistic images of what it means to be a Black boy and, eventually, a Black man.
All the dolls are welcome here, particularly a superhero one for my own superhero little boy.