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A Piece of My Mind
February 13, 2018

I Solemnly Share

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
JAMA. 2018;319(6):549-550. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.22135

When I was a little girl, my mom or dad would tuck me in at night. I would make each parent complete the ritual of saying goodnight to my stuffed animals and dolls. There was a giant stuffed bunny whose name now escapes me and a multitude of Beanie Babies. There was my Raggedy Ann doll, and there were two plump handmade dolls named Peppermint and Tom. To me, it was essential that each of these entities be kissed and greeted every night, as a reminder that he or she was loved. I was certain the toys would feel terribly sad if neglected. Looking back, I’m sure my parents found this repetitive behavior tiresome, but they tolerated it out of love. This was the first time I remember feeling responsible for the well-being of someone else. “Goodnight, Peppermint,” we would say together. “Goodnight, Tom. Goodnight, Raggedy Ann.”

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