Babyland General

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, we celebrated Pascha a few weeks ago. I wondered how many of the parish faithful would be drawn to our middle-of-the-night celebration. It turns out, pretty much all of them. Even my friend, whose wife had twins earlier in the day, came to the Pascha celebration. I had been praying for the safe delivery of the twin girls. Meanwhile, this piece enthralled me with the ceremonies surrounding the live births of Cabbage Patch Kids at Babyland General Hospital.

Herd-like, a hundred or more visitors—toddlers, children, parents, grandparents, myself and my family—move toward the center of the plaster mound where a large synthetic tree stretches plastic branches toward the ceiling. Its leaves begin to scintillate with little rainbows of light. This is the Magic Crystal Tree that indicates when Mother Cabbage is about to give birth. As with many sacred mysteries, it isn’t entirely clear what constitutes Mother Cabbage — whether it’s the tree, or the mound, or the hole that’s about to birth a doll. The Cabbage Patch children buried neck-deep in this section of the plaster mound are electronic; they twist and swivel their heads in permanent smiles like a scene from Dante’s Animatronic Inferno.

I suppose we all have our rituals to which we feel compelled to attend.


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