Ding dong. Ding dong. The insistent compelling bell ringing of the ice cream truck fails to dissuade me from my baby hunger. Owlishly enormous green eyes pierce my childless heart, pinning me to the computer screen, captivating me totally.
This little “ginchy” fellow consumed me for an entire month, as I watched and prayed for his, to me - exorbitant price to come down to an old Preacher’s wife’s reasonable level. I finally realize there is no reasonable cost for filling the emptiness consuming my heart, but I must be sensible.
Imagine a life-size lifelike baby doll, albeit plastic and cloth, yet capable of bringing out the “mommy instinct” in you, the impulsive hugging to your breast, gently holding his fuzzy wee head to prevent harm . . .
Winsome baby Irelyn has been blushed, delicately veined, shaded and mottled to the incredibly true appearance of a precious infant. He has the softest, silkiest textured hand-rooted blond hair and eyebrows. He has manicured fingernails and toenails – so cute. Little hands open with grasping baby fingers; little toes spread and curled just like a real baby.
What had been a hard plastic torso has been cushily replaced with the softest, squishiest squeezable material – he sweetly begs to be hugged. Weighing almost five pounds, with a little head so floppy, you have to hold him correctly to avoid hurting him.
His bright animated green eyes, so trustingly gazing into mine . . .
Okay. I forced myself to buy him. I promised Mike that I would not ask for any more gifts for the next ten years – Valentine’s Day, my birthday, ad infinitum.
Irelyn is the doll’s name, and as Mike strenuously objects to my naming him Michael Jr., and also rejects vehemently the name “Dickie Dingledorf” – Irelyn he remains.
Lest you are convinced that I am a total ding dong (hubby Mike’s often-used term for me), I did have valid reasons for my unnatural attachment to Irelyn. This endearing little fellow has huge eyes that almost match my beloved’s hazel eyes, has sparse hair and an adorably wrinkled little forehead. He has overlong arms and legs (Mike refers to himself as “gorilla arms”), and when I look at Irelyn, the uncanny resemblance is there.
Mike and I, together forty years now, are heartbreakingly childless. Physically and emotionally challenged, we were not considered suitable candidates to adopt. We are not blessed with nephews or nieces. It has been lonely.
I don’t think Mike understands the void Irelyn fills - the heart emptiness aching within me. I hold this wee Irelyn and my heart totally melts.
I agonized, not trusting my heart.
KJV Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
I feared I might be yielding to the spell of idol worship.
I feared going against God’s Ten Commandments. I did not want to be guilty of coveting.
KJV Exodus 20:17 “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.”
No – I do not perceive Irelyn as an idol – he does not steal my love and attention from YHWH. If there was the slightest possibility, Irelyn would be returned immediately.
Rachel “reborned/crafted” Irelyn from Denise Pratt’s adorable sculpt – but Irelyn falls terribly short of being a living breathing infant.
I would not worship a child, but I would love him or her madly.
Irelyn is a living doll – a loveable huggable heart-grabbing little fellow. When I am feeling extremely mushy, he snuggles in and takes all I can give.
Thank you Lord, for using Irelyn to fill the hole.
The dark stories “Ding dong dell, pussy’s in the well”, or “Ding dong, the witch is dead, which old witch? The wicked witch” will not be lullabies for Irelyn. Nor will I feed him the scrumptious drool-inducing Ding Dongs – chocolate frosted cream-filled little chocolate cakes. I do miss the tasty white squiggle on top. Little boy Irelyn is content with his bright yellow magnetic pacifier.
Sleepily, both he and I do not respond to the ding dong announcing the arrival of the Avon Lady. We cuddle and coo, while Mike flings up an eyebrow and wryly observes “What a ding dong ding-a-ling I married”.
Most contentedly, I close my eyes and snuggle even closer to Irelyn, knowing I am beloved in spite of my being Mike’s favorite ding dong.
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