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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Entry 119: 1974 Mrs. Beasley

Heidi’s favorite television program during this time was Family Affair.  To Heidi the main characters were a little girl named Buffy and her doll, Mrs. Beasley.
Heidi’s birthday that year turned into something magical when she opened a present containing Mrs. Beasley.  From that moment forward we were to hear Mrs. Beasley repeating these phrases:
Do you want to play?
Gracious me, you’re getting to be such a big girl!
If you could have three wishes, what would you wish for?
I do think you’re the nicest friend I ever had!
Would you like to try on my glasses?  You may if you wish.
It would be such fun to play jump rope, don’t you think?
If you were a little smaller, I could rock you to sleep.
Do you want to hear a secret?  I know one!
Speak a little louder dear, so Mrs. Beasley can hear you.
You may call me Mrs. Beasley, would you like to play?
And Heidi’s favorite…
Long ago, I was a little girl, just like you!
Mrs. Beasley slept in Heidi’s bed, she sat beside Heidi in the car, she watched TV with Heidi, she played on the swing set with Heidi, and sometimes she had meals in the kitchen when Heidi ate.  She wasn’t allowed at the table but she was close by.  
One of the best games Mrs. Beasley and Heidi played was Hide and Seek.  I would help Mrs. Beasley look for Heidi when it was Heidi’s turn to hide and I’d hide Mrs. Beasley for Heidi to find when it was Mrs. Beasley’s turn.  Hide and Seek could go on for hours.  Mrs. Beasley was Heidi’s best friend.                    
One autumn day I was baking in the kitchen, Robin was napping, and Heidi was in the yard playing on her swing set.  As usual, Mrs. Beasley was nearby.  She was on a lawn chair watching Heidi swing and slide.  
As luck would have it Heidi spotted a butterfly on a nearby bush.  She went to investigate.  As the butterfly went from bush to bush Heidi followed.  Soon she was near enough the open kitchen window to smell the baking cookies.  
Heidi came in and together we had a glass of milk and cookies fresh from the oven.  Heidi liked to dunk her cookies in milk like her daddy does but this time they were warm so instead of dunking she broke them in pieces and licked the warm chocolate chips out before gobbling up the rest of the cookie.
Larry came in just as we finished our treat.  He chased Heidi from the table and teased her for a while pretending he was going to eat all the remaining cookies.  We had a good laugh.  When Heidi heard Robin begin to stir in the other room she ran to take care of her.  
The remainder of the evening was busy with dinner, a little TV, bubble baths, and bedtime stories.  Heidi helped me gently cover Robin in her crib and quietly got into her own bed.  I piled dollies up all around her.  She hugged each one of them before she gave me a goodnight hug.  Heidi hadn’t noticed, neither had I, Mrs. Beasley was missing.
During the night I was awakened by an unexpected thunderstorm.  The rain was pouring down.  The rumbling woke both girls who were delighted when we brought them into our bed for a while.  The storm passed quickly and once again everyone was fast asleep in their own beds.
When morning came I opened my eyes to see Heidi just inches away from my face.  She had her finger up to her lips as if telling me a secret.  “I can’t find Mrs. Beasley, I think she’s hiding again.”
We searched everywhere for Mrs. Beasley.  Heidi was in tears most of the morning.  Just before noon while we were trying to remember where Mrs. Beasley had been seen last a sickening look crept onto Heidi’s face.  “Oh no mommy, Mrs. Beasley is out by the swings.  Poor Mrs. Beasley.  She was outside all night alone.”
Yes indeed.  We ran to Heidi’s bedroom window and looked out.  There, still sitting in the chair by the swing set, was one very soaked Mrs. Beasley.
Mrs. Beasley had a cloth body.  She was soaked.  When I picked her up water ran from her.  I squeezed all I could out.  Then Mrs. Beasley went into the dryer.  She was nice and clean when she came out but her hairdo was never quite the same.  Mrs. Beasley didn’t talk much after that.  Heidi would pull and pull on the string but just once in a while would she say anything and almost never a complete sentence.
Heidi loved her little friend with a true friend type of love.  She was only slightly annoyed that her dear friend didn’t talk much anymore.  When Larry or I would pull the string Heidi would put her little hands down in front of her with the palms downward.  “Mommy, daddy, Mrs. Beasley has talked enough to you.  Now she only talks to me.

It seemed Mrs. Beasley was still in perfect condition.  She was still saying everything she had ever said and I’m sure a lot of new things as well.  It was a good lesson about a child’s imagination and loyalty to a friend.   Mrs. Beasley was with us for a few more years.
After that storm Mrs. Beasley's dress was a little stained, her hair was shaped very oddly, and she only spoke to Heidi.

1 comment:

  1. And this story, speaks to my heart. Love how you spin a story and pull me in with each word.


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