I have so many childhood memories, and ask my kids, I love to share them. The other day, though, I ran across a memory I had all but forgotten. I was searching google images for a doll house I had purchased at Goodwill and I ran across this image.
It took me back to 1970. I was 11 and I had more dolls than any kid needs. Not only did I have dolls of my own, but I had several that had been handed down from older sisters. Most of them lived in a box under the bed. And frankly, they weren't as appealing to me anymore. Sometimes on a warm Sunday afternoon my friends, Jenny, Shirley, and I would haul them out on a blanket in the yard, but we were definitely growing up.
Then I saw an ad. It was in a flyer and I can't even remember for what store, but there was a picture of this doll named Thumbelina. The ad continued that when you pulled the string on her back, she wiggled and rolled over. I HAD to have one. I cut out the ad and placed it on the kitchen table. I talked about it a lot and pretended that my other cloth body doll, David, had the power to do these things. I begged. I pleaded. I played with all my dolls ceaselessly to prove I still loved dolls. As Christmas approached, I turned up the volume. I could see Mom was getting annoyed.
As time closed in, there was some whispering....Mom and Dad had been to town and there was a parcel under the tree with my name on it. It was bulky, about the right size, and they were both pretty excited. Dad kept teasing me. "You will love it!" "You can do all kinds of things with it." Mom smiled and said, "Dad picked it out. He is excited about it!" I was sure it was Thumbelina!
On Christmas Eve, the time we opened gifts at our house, I could hardly contain my excitement and joy. It seemed evening would never come. Finally Dad placed the gift in my hands and I eagerly tore off the paper. I was...stunned! This is what was in the package.
For a brief moment I hung suspended in space. My face burned, my hands went cold and then I saw my Dad's smile. I mustered up all my enthusiasm. I smiled, I opened the box. I pulled out the pieces and we put the thing together. For the next few weeks, I attempted to use it but it never really worked all that well. Eventually Dad and I managed to make a few half decent glasses.
I learned a lot that year. It is not all about us. It is more about the joy others have in giving. And even as a child of 11, I realized that we are not entitled to everything we want and if we watch closely we can see that the greater joy is in pleasing others. Dad went home to be with the Lord in 1999 and I miss him. He never knew I hated that bottle cutter and I'm glad.
Still, when I see Thumbelina in all her cuteness on Ebay, some part of me still wants her.
(Sorry, Kait. Again with the photos other than those I took myself. But I doctored these up a bit if that counts. :)