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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Me and My Matryoshkas

matrioshka_1a_10part_allThe image has followed me in my dreams since childhood. My grandmother sent me a matryoshka when I was a small girl and it was an incredible gift. I knew of no one else who possessed such a wooden-crafted, handpainted, Russian nesting doll.

Crafted since the late 19th century, these mysterious images had not been around forever. Instead, the folk art craft sprang up in towns such as Sergiev Possad, a monastery enclave where I turned up many years later.

I had never imagined myself to be a mother. It was not a natural D286521406 instinct for me. I was nurturing enough, enjoyed animals and stuffed animals, but children…? Little ones were cute and cuddly, older ones held my attention, but everything inbetween….

The nesting mothers with children, or fairy tale figures and sneaky creatures, danced before me. Russia was closed to families such as ours who had fled during the Revolution. The matryoshka mirrored my connection to the Motherland.

And then my own children came, not from my own womb, but from the womb of my soul. Full circle. I was there. Russia. Matryoshki everywhere.

4911513576_8922e0f2fc_zI collected a few of meaning. Their simple shapes, expressive faces, colorful aprons and ample bodies spoke to me of my own grandmother. Flowers were everywhere in the design, much like her own garden overflowing with floral fantasies.

I saw them in Ismailovsky. They were there in Sergiev Possad. From department stores to backstreet markets, the matryoshki marched before me. Babushki with rouged cheeks, whether from the cold, or from cosmetics, I know not, sang their haunting folk songs on historic steps. I stopped for chai and blinchiki, dreaming of whatrussian_folklore_ladies_museum_matryoshka_1000 motherhood might entail.

At times, it was a dream, then a nightmare, then a fantasy vanishing in a heavy and hushed snowstorm. Today, my matryoshki and dyeti (children) surround me in a dreamy Russian fairytale family of our own making.

My grandparents would be so proud and perhaps they were the ones who first planted the seed of Russian motherhood.

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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar Karen says:

    What a lovely tribute to your family heritage! Your children are so fortunate to have you in their lives and from the sound of it, you to have them. Blessings to you!

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