January 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
This afternoon was a long one. A long one as my mother and I dug through large, red bins packed full of childhood toys. We painstakingly took on the task of going through the mounds of headless Barbies and balding Cabbage Patch dolls, sorting them into three different piles – trash, donation, keeps. There were mixed bins of handmade doll clothing, teeny tiny Barbie shoes, and matted stuffed animals. We said our goodbyes to the dolls that could not be resurrected; we pitched the clothing and baby blankets that were stained to the point of no return.
After many hours the front door was blocked with paper bags full of items to be donated, the back door had a line of garbage bags crammed full of trash. Almost all of the toys had been sorted when we got to a medium sized, white box that I had recognized as one that used to contain my fancier doll stuff. I was proud of my child self as we lifted the lid off of the box to discover a neat display of items I somehow knew, at such a young age, would be worth holding onto. In the box, among other things, were two tiny, yellow, glass birds that were stolen from either my mother or grandmother, at least one piece of my artwork, two certificates proving I had taken piano lessons, and a letter written to my father on white, lined paper.
Folded up ever so neatly and still quite crisp, the letter was written in pencil in a very precise handwriting. I read the letter out loud, proud of my child self once again for being such a great speller! The letter was a detailed and heartfelt plea to my father to let me have a kitten. It was innocent but well thought out. By the time I got to “p.s. Youre the best dad ever!” I was giggling. It was fun to see my longing for a kitten from an adult viewpoint (an adult viewpoint that has raised 3 cats). What struck me the most was that something I had loved at such a young age was still something I was very fond of. Something that I was begging my dad for so long ago was still something I felt I could not live without.
As a young girl I was not one to dream up future careers. I spent most of my baby doll time dressing them in perfect pink outfits; my Barbie doll “playing” was more of a time for me to practice my decorating and organizing with their small, neon colored things. I kept almost all of my toys in pristine condition (my Christie Brinkly Barbie doll being one exception as I discovered today I had at some point shaved her head); the most treasured items stored in marked boxes.
This afternoon was a long one. A long one as I rocked old baby dolls, caressed many a Barbie doll’s mane, rediscovered my “dark period” of high school art, and remembered sweet moments of play time with my sister. But the greatest part of this long afternoon was the realization that my life has turned out just as lovely as I had dreamt it would be. I have a cuddly, white cat and the best dad ever, and there is nothing much more I could ask for.