I’ve really found myself focused on change lately. Maybe I’m becoming a little afraid of the change I see in my children. Like when I see my 2 year old becoming so independent; or my 11 year old, dressed to the nines, attending her first dance in middle school. Whatever the reason, I’ve recently become obsessed with capturing childhood. Perhaps in a desperate attempt to freeze time for just a moment, or to try to get time to stop all together...who knows? I decided this blog would be about childhood. Mine, yours, my children, your children.
The other day my husband and I took our daughter to Toys-R-Us. This was a big deal. My husband and I aren’t really big on buying toys. We have hand me downs, birthday and Christmas gifts, crafts, and trips to the library to entertain the kiddos. Besides, she’s a pretty creative individual, and on most days able to entertain herself with just about anything. Just yesterday she played with salad tongs for about an hour. Just running around the house seeing what she could pick up with them and then chasing the dog, the cat and her mother around with them. But in a moment of spontaneity, we decided, what the heck, lets do it. Let’s take her to the toy store. It was there inside the massive, endless building of amazing goodness she found it....that toy...the one...you know what I mean. The toy that will stick with you for a very long time. The toy that when you think of your childhood, it’s the first thing that comes to mind.
For me, it was my very first Cabbage Patch Doll. Christmas morning, 1988. She was beautiful. Dark brown hair, just like mine. Chubby checks, and a dimple! She had a plaid blue and white dress and 2 perfect braids. When I took the oath, you know, The raise your right hand and promise with all your heart to be the best mommy to that Cabbage Patch doll no matter what, oath; I couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear. Her name was Gail Bonnie. She was perfect. She was mine. I slept with her at night, and had tea parties with her during the day. My mother even made her come alive by creating a voice for her. She would take her while I was sleeping and put her in places around the house. I would wake up in the morning to find her half way in the cookie jar, or in front of the t.v. holding the remote. She was everything to me. She was real. She was what I loved. And while I think I collected 4 other Cabbage Patch dolls and an endless amount of “ordinary” other dolls, she was different. I’ll let you in on a little secret, I still have her. Granted she’s packed away in a memory box, under books and old clothes, but she’s still with me. She’s been through, 26 years, 8 moves, 2 cross country trips, 2 children, one husband and a partridge in a pear tree. I even bring her out every now and then to let my girls play with her...under close and strict supervision of course!
Going back to Lauren and her find. It was Jessie. That’s right, Jessie the cute little red head from the Toy Story movies. She jumped up and down, hugged the box and told her father and I, this is it. I want her. We couldn’t wait to get to the car to open her up. Of course not, that would be silly. We ripped that box open right at the register and on the way out of the store, she looked right at Jessie, gave her a hug and said, “Hey Jessie we’ll be best friends.” It’s been a match made in heaven ever since. I decided to capture this bond between child and childhood. I think in one way or another, we can all connect with the following images, we all have that special toy. That one when we think waaaaay back, no matter how grown up we really think we are, we can remember that special toy and it still brings a smile to our faces.