Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Barbie girl

I played with Barbies for a lot longer than I care to admit. I found it soothing to dress them, brush their hair and line them up alphabetically according to the names that I had given them. I hesitate to say how old I was when I put my Barbies away for the last time. I consoled myself with the thought that someday I would have a little girl of my own to play Barbies with.

Elle got her first Barbie when she was less than a day old. It was a present from one of my best friends, a fellow Barbie lover. She got her next Barbie a couple of months later as a Christmas present from her grandparents. In her four years on this planet she has managed to collect nearly 30 Barbie dolls. Many of them are hand-me-downs from me. She has inherited my private stash of "just for show" Barbies. Dolls I thought were too pretty or special to play with. Now they are a part of jumble of arms and legs and frizzy hair that covers the floor around Elle's dollhouse.

And what a dollhouse it is. It too is a hand-me-down. It was built by my grandpa, uncle and dad as a present for two of my cousins. Nearly 20 years later my parents took it and gave it a little tlc. It got new carpets, paint, shingles, hardwood floors and hand made furniture. Elle got it as a present for her 4th birthday and she's played with it every day since then.

Every time she asks me "Mama, will you play Barbies with me?" I have to smile. I smile even though playing Barbies with a four year old ranks among the most boring activities you can imagine.

I smile because Elle has given her Barbies names like Ruth, Christina, Lucy, Clicky, Ariel Teenager and Shooty. I smile because I remember what a treat it was when my mom would play Barbies with me. I smile because sometimes Joseph will join in with us and it never occurs to him that nine year old boys don't play with Barbies. I smile because I know how how Elle will scream with laughter when I make a Barbie fall out of bed or run into a wall. Even if I've done it 100 times already.

I smile because I have an excuse to play Barbies again.

years ago today Joseph defended me.


Anonymous said...

Awww. That is so sweet. It's the same reason why I have an entire trash bag full of old stuffed animals.

shyestviolet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shyestviolet said...

you make me think of:

last week, J and I were christmas shopping at the mall of america, which is apparently having some sort of barbie retrospective, and I saw my first barbie, peaches 'n cream barbie:

and I FREAKED. I got WAAAYYYY too excited that I got to see my first barbie again. which was made clear when J started slowly backing away from me and looking around for the nearest manly store to dodge into.

Becky said...

This post made me all choked up. I remember being so excited the day she was born to show you her very first Barbie :)

Rima said...

I remember listening to U2's Joshua Tree album and playing with Barbies at the same time. That's then I knew it was time to give it up.

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

Thank you, yes, ditto. Can't wait for Emma to start playing with my old Barbie house. I was at the MOA for the Barbi show too-so exciting. I even bought Emma her first Barbie at the new Barbie store! Moments to treasure!

Emily said...

Clicky and Shooty! Wah! Are those two gang related? Love it.