Earlier this week-before the delerium that came with green cards and summer reading-I mentioned a Mom Trifecta. I only got around to posting about the amazing anniversary quilt that she made us before spacing out. Here is the next cool thing my mom delivered to our door.

This is my Little Orphan Annie doll. My mother made this doll for me when I was two years old, right down to the signature dress and hand sewn two-tone yarn hair. Now, please note the size of this doll as she lounges in our library. At the age of two, this doll was almost twice my size. I think I learned to drive before I got taller than Annie. Plus, I was a bit of a tomboy as a kid, and with a few notable exceptions I liked playing with my older brother’s toys more than dolls. So I’m completely ashamed to admit this, but I didn’t give Annie the warmest reception when she was unveiled for my second birthday. I don’t know what I was expecting to get that year, but I actually do remember this giant doll being revealed to me and the confusion I felt. She was bigger than me, and I already had a beloved doll-Katie Sarah Watuna.

Now, let me wander away from the original story here for a moment. Katie Sarah Watuna was one of those lifelike baby dolls filled with jelly so it’s as heavy as an actual baby. My family says that at the tender age of about 2, someone asked me the name of this favorite doll and without missing a beat I announced, “Katie Sarah Watuna.” Yes, I really was that chatty at the age of two. My baby book says I spoke my first word at 4 months old. “Frog.” My family will tell you they have not gotten a word in edgewise since. I insisted that Katie Sarah Watuna travel with me everywhere, which meant that my entire family took turns holding her because I couldn’t or wouldn’t. She was known to everyone else as Two Ton Tessie.

So receiving Annie was not my finest hour, but I was two. I could tell even then that my mother was heartbroken. I mean, she hand sewed the yarn hair in, for crying out loud. She slaved over this doll, it is meticulously made. It radiates love in literally every stitch. And I didn’t know what to do with it. Annie stayed around in the background through my entire childhood, but I played with Legos, my brother’s Transformers and GI Joes, and art supplies. Some My Little Ponies and Cabbage Patch Kids made appearances. Then I grew up. What can I say? I marched to my own drum as a kid, which my lovely mother always encouraged. But eventually she sort of took Annie back and gave her a home in her room. When I went away to college, Annie stayed with my mom. Eventually, Annie just became hers.

But over the past couple of years, I’ve thought a lot about Annie. I regret not loving her as a kid because she is such an amazing present. But honestly, I was so little. How can you regret things when you were too little to know better? My mother is truly talented, and I started to think about asking for Annie back. But I didn’t think my mother would hand her over after I’d abandoned her for so many years. But especially after I really took up sewing lately, I felt like I was finally old enough to really appreciate her. So what if it took me 27 yers? So a few weeks ago I finally asked her if she would consider letting me have Annie.

It turns out my mom has been preserving her all these years in the hope that I would want her. She’s resewn the hair, replaced torn patches, bought her new outfits (she has a sassy Gap Kids number as well), kept her clean and mended. All so maybe I’d ask for her one day, or maybe someday my daughter could have her. So Annie was delivered safely to our house on Sunday, where she will be well looked after as the cherished family heirloom that she is. She really is just so cool. And how many grown ups still have childhood dolls in such great shape?