My daughter turned eleven in December. A couple of weeks ago, in the midst of cleaning her room, she told me that she had a bundle of clothes to hand down to her cousin. Then, as if she was uttering something completely meaningless she said, “Oh, and I don’t really play with my Barbies anymore.” Like a knife to the heart, I tell you.
For as long as I can remember, she has had a large, Barbie storage bag hanging in her room. Nearly the length of the door on which it hangs, it has individual compartments for putting dolls or clothes. It is so full and heavy that I have had to replace the hooks for it twice.
Under her bed there is an entire box full of wedding dresses, night-club outfits, tea-party skirts and mismatched flip-flops. There is a school teacher’s chalkboard, a purple convertible and a red, VW Beetle. Not to mention the full Cinderella carriage, complete with horses. All of it, done for.
My daughter is moving on. We have gone from baby dolls to shopping malls. Now she wants her own e-mail account and a cell phone. She was thrilled when I recently bought her a full-length mirror for her room so she can make sure she looks okay before school.
She brushes her hair without being asked (most of the time) and she’s wearing deodorant. Sometimes we pass right by the kid’s shoe section and head straight for the women’s, because she can fit in those now too.
She is growing up. And, that? Scares me to death.
Getting her through childhood was hard enough. Soon there will be peer pressure and boys and really important decisions with which she’ll be faced. Hard decisions that need to be made in an instant and need to be made correctly the first time, because sometimes there isn’t a second chance.
Don’t get me wrong, I love watching her grow and excel and morph into this amazing person.
But, I would do just about anything to go back in time to see her playing with those Barbies again.