Sibling Assignment # 26: The Birth of Silver Valley Girl

"Families remember to love one another as cherished traditions unfold." - Jan Miller Girando

Our sibling assignment this week was to remember the time Silver Valley Girl was born. She celebrates a birthday on Tuesday. I decided to write mine all from memory this time and not get help and facts from Mom. I think what I am about to tell is mostly true! You will find Raymond Pert's here and the birthday girl's here.

I loved playing with dolls when I was eight years old. I dressed them, talked to them, and put them to bed each night. When I learned Mom was going to have a baby I loved the fact that there would be another baby to take care of. This time the baby would be alive. Being the “mother” I was I loved the stuff that went with my dolls: blankets, bottles that had pretend milk in them that disappeared when the baby drank, and cribs. As the time approached for Mom to give birth real baby stuff starting arriving at the house. I wanted to use all of it for my dolls. I was in doll mother heaven, but soon I learned this new stuff was for the new baby, not my doll family.

The new baby was going to share my room so a big crib came in first. Our neighbor Lynn had a smaller crib that would be in the room with Mom and Dad when the baby first came home.
Mom had friends that brought other hand-me-downs that began to fill the room.

Baby showers were held as we anticipated the big event. I learned a baby requires a whole collection of stuff . A high chair came home from the teachers at Mom’s school. I also was introduced to a receiving blanket. I still remember the pastel colors and soft feel of flannel. The booties and caps reminded me of my doll clothes, only these were cleaner and softer. Little white shoes and sleepers also came out of those shower gift boxes.

Someone at the teacher shower had taken squares of flannel and somehow made them into tiny diapers held together with little gold safety pins. Then the diapers were dipped in wax. Each served as a nut and mint holder during the shower. That was my gift after the shower. Long after I ate the nuts and mints I kept that little pastel colored diaper on the shelf .

Who knew there was so many products just for a baby? Mom got a set of Johnson and Johnson products that sat ready for our new brother or sister to take their first bath. Bottles arrived and Gerber baby cereal was placed in the cupboard. There were even tiny dishes made just for a baby. This soon-to-be-older sister even got excited about the diaper pail. Today I still love the smell of Johnson and Johnson baby lotion and powder. It is reminiscent
of the time when we helped care for our sister.

Grandma Woolum came to stay when it was close to the due date. We kept hearing about a Fourth of July baby. On July 3, 1963 I came down for breakfast in the morning to the news that Mom had just given birth to a baby girl. Grandma said Dad had gone to the hospital from work. I think we heard later that he went there in his dirty Zinc Plant clothes.

My brother and I were given the privilege of naming this sister. I don’t remember laboring over lists of names for weeks prior to her birth. We knew we wanted to name her after President Kennedy’s daughter. One small problem- we got the name mixed up. Instead of being named Caroline, we named her Carol Lynn. The name fit her better in the long run!

In those days children weren’t allowed in the hospital during visiting hours. The hospital was walking distance from our house. You could walk up “the trail” to the hospital and the high school. They were both located up Jacob’s Gulch. The hospital nursery was at the back part of the hospital and big windows gave a child a perfect view of the babies in their tiny cribs. My brother and I had often walked up to look at the babies in the nursery. Today was different as we raced up to see our baby sister. We gingerly crawled down the hill from the trail so we could get a closer view. Sleeping peacefully in her tiny crib was our first impression of SVG. We thought she was the most beautiful thing we had ever seen. The following days we took more hikes up the trail to visit our new sister. We were very upset the day she had spit up and her face was close to the baby mess. Where were the nurses? Should a baby be put through such torture? We were indignant, but couldn’t do much as we stood there on the other side of the glass.

My live doll and Mom came home. As SVG grew each day I think my brother and I always thought of her as our doll. We spent so much time dressing her, changing her, holding her, reading to her. and just loving her. In the weeks following her birth SVG was ill. She obviously survived, but I will save the next chapter in her life for another post. The picture above shows the three of us posing for a Christmas card. SVG doesn’t remember ever being read to, but here is another picture to prove it!

Silver Valley Girl, Carol Lynn, Pooh, Gerber Baby ( said with a special g,g sound), Firecracker Baby, Sumo Wrestler: you brought a joy to our lives at 516 W. Cameron that is hard to put into words. We saw Mom and Dad in a new light as new parents again. RP and I became the older, wiser big brother and sister. You were a bundle of new life that we needed right at that time in our lives. Happy Birthday dear sister.


  1. That is so sweet! I'm the baby over here but I don't think my sisters would be so kind if they wrote a post about me. Apparently colic and screaming was all I could do...LOL
    I think its so sweet that she's the 'doll'...
    Going to read your siblings posts now!

  2. Happy Birthday Baby Sister!

    And as important, your roses are spectacular!

  3. Well, I guess you guys did read to me after all. I sure wish I could remember it, though!! Thanks for the nice post. You guys always did make me feel special, and still do!

  4. You are the newest "Rockin' Girl Blogger" awardee at my place :)

    come see . . .

    take care!

  5. Jennifer: it was fun reflecting on that time with our "doll".
    JBelle: Thanks... I guess the rabbits are doing their job!
    SVG:Yes,yes, yes we read to you. Note the enthusiasm in your brother's face in the picture! I am glad you remember the part about feeling special... even when RP put you on the escalator in your stroller!
    Shelby: I have added you to my blogroll and I will check your blog for Rockin' Girl award. :)

  6. Very touching story. You must have learned how to love your sister from your parents' example.

    So sweet how the two of you walked up to the hospital to check on your new baby.

  7. What an delightfully well written and wonderful tribute to your sister! I too had a sister when I was 11 in 1961 and I'm with you, I still buy J & J baby powder for me.
    Loved the Christmas photo. Thanks for sharing such an intimate memory of your family.


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