My earliest childhood memories are like lightning bolts, appearing quickly in my mind before fading away in silent thought. The earliest memory I have is of my little, tiny hand reaching out to pet a goat in the middle of what I can only describe to be an “open” petting zoo.


Second to that, but first in my heart, I remember my mom sitting at a table, sewing a new outfit on my little Drowsy Doll. I can remember walking up to her, my head barely high enough to see what she was doing, and watching her cut up and sew an old purple shirt onto my little Drowsy. She carefully and lovingly stitched this outfit onto my dearest toy, making it more than just my favorite toy, but my favorite early memory. To make it sweeter still, the purple shirt that my mom had sewn onto my darling baby doll had belonged to my father.


I think I may have been born with my little Drowsy Doll in my hands, because I don’t remember the moment I got him. Shocking, yes, but you’ll understand why when I tell you this little baby had no hair! Before he was mine, my mom had her. She explained to me that the reason this small toy had no hair was because when my mom was a girl, she used to walk around the house, carrying little Drowsy by the hair until it all fell out.


So as I grew up with little Drowsy, he looked like a boy to me. How I loved his bald little head. I used to snuggle with him in the hot Texas heat and press his tiny, bald, cool head to my cheek for some relief from the smoldering air. I loved his tiny fingers and hands, and used to hold and play with them all the time, to the point where his fingers began to crack and become so fragile they looked like they could fall off at any moment.


As a child, I was rather impulsive, and if something was about to break, I would usually just end up breaking it for the satisfaction of pulling something off a toy. I took the head off countless Barbie dolls and broke almost everything I had as a child. My little Drowsy meant so much to me that instead of ripping off his fingers, I would hold his tiny hand in mine and wish that his fingers would stay on forever.


This fragile little Drowsy Doll that had undergone years of play, a few decades even, was so fragile that it seemed he would disintegrate if you even gently held him in your arms. I played with him, he went everywhere with me, and he never broke.


My sweet Drowsy Doll was the first thing I had ever truly cared for. I snuggled with him as I fell asleep at night. I carried him around by the arm wherever I went. We watched movies together and ate together. I was so in love with this delicate doll that I watched him and kept him with me throughout almost all my early days to ensure nothing would happen to him.


Drowsy was my first friend. He didn’t talk. He had just quietly lain in my arms as I rocked him back and forth, singing to my little baby even though I was just a child myself.


Today, my little Drowsy sits in my basement, a small amount of dirt caked into his little purple outfit. He hasn’t had playtime in a little over a decade, he has just loyally lain in silence with the many memories he’s been a part of. My childhood heart rests down there with him as he quietly waits for his next loving playmate to pick him up and hold him as closely as I once held him in my earliest memories.