Dolly Lesson 1 — Time to Be Free

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I was a dolly sort of girl. I fed Betsy Wetsy water until she did what her name implies she could do (if you know what I mean; do they still make dolls like that?).

I got a Barbie doll not long after Barbie’s debut. As Mother made clothes for her many customers, I made clothes for Barbie. When her fifties ponytail went out of style, I snipped it off and put on a Barbie wig with a short, poufy do. The wig is long gone, so she looks pretty pitiful.

Two days before I married Ray at age 21, I got a Christmas present from Daddy — a rag doll he bought from a crafter. She’s been a companion to lots of little children since then; today she lives up to her name — she’s raggedy.

Here is a fun photo I took of Betsy Wetsy and the rag doll a while back, thinking I might use them on a book cover.

Betsy Wetsy, Sleeping Dog, the Rag Doll, Girls Playing "Ring Around the Rosie"
Betsy Wetsy, Sleeping Dog, the Rag Doll, Girls Playing “Ring Around the Rosie”

Betsy Wetsy sits in the doll rocking chair my grandparents gave me. The rockers have been gone longer than I can remember, but, amazingly, I have almost every piece of this china tea set which I actually used! I was excited to find this cheap antique store shelf where I could display them. The three little china girls who once stood on a table in Mama Sue’s living room now remind me of playing “Ring Around the Rosie” with my grandchildren.

When I was a girl, I went to school every day and I walked to Miss Doye’s house one afternoon a week for our Brownie meetings. The rest of the time I was free — free to play with dolls, free to play kickball or army with my brother, free to turn on the record player and dance the Bunny Hop and the Mexican Hat Dance with him.

I’m thankful for a childhood with time to be free. Don’t lose track of one of the great blessings of homeschooling — your children have time to be free.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free;
therefore keep standing firm
and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1



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  1. A wonderful and timely reminder, Charlene! Now that homeschooling has become respected and practically fashionable, there are almost unlimited opportunities and activities in which to involve our children. Field trips, coops, sports, music, internships, college dual enrollments…if we aren’t careful to guard our family’s time, we could become as stressed out, busy, and burned out as too many families are today. Free time must be jealousy protected!

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