|Monica, Mary, Mandy, Paula, Caren, Jenny, and Sylvie|
It's difficult to explain how I felt when I realized several things:
1) I'm 40, and I'm likely never going to have children (not that I can't, but it's really just never been a priority for me) and
2) I have all this stuff in storage, from my parents' old house in Michigan, that I haven't looked at in years and
3) some of that stuff in the storage room is toys that some other kid would probably really like and
|Maggie puts the red clogs on Jenny.|
4) I really could have given this stuff up a long time ago, but I'm sentimentally attached to it, and I don't want it going to just any kid who is going to pull my dolls' hair out of their heads and rip their limbs off and not take care of my dolls like I did when I was a kid.
There. I said it. No, I'm not a hoarder. I'm just sentimental. There's a lot of stuff that got donated or thrown away or just left in my parents' house when they decided to sell it. I was upset about losing some of that stuff. Only the most essentially-sentimental stuff survived. So when the day came (yesterday) that I realized I needed to get over the emotional part of giving away my childhood dolls, because I would never have a need or use for them, the day was, well ~ emotional.
I spent a couple of hours yesterday washing dolls in the washing machine, washing their clothes, packing things up... and thinking to myself, "I've found the best possible solution. I've found the nicest girls to adopt my toys, and they're going to take care of them. It's for the best." I had messaged my friend Julie, who has two girls: Katie (kindergarten) and Maggie (2nd grade?). These girls love dolls. They do not pop the heads off of dolls. They do not mark on them with permanent markers. Julie was certain that her girls would be good caretakers to my dolls.
|Julie's new favorite: Mary.|
So I dressed them up and packed them up and headed over to Julie's house today. I got in the door, and Maggie said, "Why did you bring your dolls with you?" and I looked at Julie. She hadn't told them yet. First we had tea and muffins, then I started to explain to the girls what my plan was. I started to get tears in my eyes. The part about not having girls of my own didn't really bother me that much. I think it's more the feeling that these dolls had provided me with such an escape from reality when I was a kid. No matter what was going on in my real world around me (and yeah, stuff happens when you're a kid; you never really get over it, I think) my dolls could help me cope. They had adventures, were good in school (yes, I made them go to school), they were athletes and scholars, and world-travelers. They were everything I wanted to be when I grew up (and everything that I have become).
|Katie tells a story as she dresses Mandy in another outfit.|
We played on the floor for about an hour and a half. Trying different outfits on the dolls, the girls showed me their own dolls ~ you know, doll-stuff. And the girls were really cute with them. It's bittersweet, but mostly it's just sweet. I'm so glad my toys aren't just sitting in storage anymore. And then through all of this, I remember one of my favorite childhood stories and the imagination of a child and how delightful that really is.