Early in December our son Harry asked Santa for a Cabbage Patch kid.
A boy, one with red hair, please.
At first I was a little surprised and apprehensive about my 9-year-old wanting a doll, but Cabbage Patch Kids aren't really dolls, they're companions.
He'd been helping me choose them for his sisters and watching all the YouTube video births from the Cabbage Patch ... it couldn't be helped, he was totally sold.
I decided to do a little looking just in case. Would you believe that within five minutes on eBay I found a circa 1985 boy cabbage patch kid, football player, reddish hair, new in the box ... $12.99.
Talk about your no-brainer.
Ten minutes later the deal was sealed and the "Kid" was on it's way. A few days later I casually mentioned to my husband that Harry wanted a Cabbage Patch Kid. I honestly wasn't prepared for his reaction.
"What? Absolutely not, my son is not going to have a doll! I hated those things when I was a kid and I will not allow him to have one."
I sat Harry down a few days later. "So," I said, "Are you still wanting a Cabbage Patch Kid?"
"Yes!" he said.
"Buddy, I've got to warn you. If you get a Cabbage Patch Kid for Christmas your father is going to tease you for the next 50 years of your life for owning a doll. You're 9, it's not exactly cool. Are you really prepared to take that kind of torture?"
"Bring it!" he said with a smile.
I decided to let Santa be the bad guy and wrapped up the doll unbeknownst to Jason. I hid it in the living room that night and crossed my fingers that good old Dad wouldn't kill me later.
The next morning after everything had been opened and the kids were settled into their gifts, I called Harry back to the living room, video camera in hand.
"Hey," I said, "What's that over there?" He looked by the fireplace behind a plant and pulled out the Santa wrapped gift.
"I don't know," he said, "There's no name on it."
"Why don't you open it and see?"
"What is that?" Jason asked with apprehension, "I thought we talked about this ..."
"I don't know, it looks like Santa left it."
Harry pulled out his new Swiss Army knife and carefully cut away the wrapping paper. Then he started to laugh. The kid giggled like a school girl (a bit too much?) and said, "Dad, you're going to hate Santa for this one!"
And then he met Lyle, his new best friend. football helmet and all, it was the most masculine doll Santa could have mustered.
He carefully whisked the doll away to his room and placed him in the most coveted place, right on his pillow.
Later that day Kiyah, Harry's good friend, came over with her family for Christmas dinner. I had to show off Santa's amazing Cabbage Patch find and asked Harry to retrieve Lyle from his room. The look on Kiyah's face when she saw the doll was nothing short of shock and horror.
"I have no idea where this came from!" Harry said laughingly, "Don't ask me what Santa was thinking!" he smiled and gave me his doll to show my friends. I handed Lyle back, and trying to help him save face said, "Be careful with that Harry, remember that it's a collector's item!"
Harry took the Kid, carefully placed it over his shoulder and gently patted it's backside in true parental fashion. "Oh, yeah," he said to Kiyah, "He's a collector's item." Then he kissed its head and carefully returned Lyle to his bunk bed.
That boy is going to be a great father some day.
Annie Valentine is a wife, mother and columnist. Contact her at email@example.com, or vist her blog at regardingannie.wordpress.com.