Monday, November 21, 2011

Visions of sugar plums

My darling daughter has been wishing for an American Girl doll for over a year now.  They cost $100, before accessories and clothes.  Seriously??

I came to a realization recently:  this is the Cabbage Patch Kid of this generation. 

Ahhh... remember the sweet, squished face dolls?  Trying to find a doll that looked like you?  Well, at least the same basic hair and eye color.  I wished for one for so long.  Pleaded with my mom, negotiated with Santa...

My parents firmly declared they would not spend $40 on a doll and wait in line with other crazy parents just to get one.  My heart was deflated. 

When the novelty wore off, my parents finally got me one.  I was nine years old.  So many years lost of enjoying that doll.

I get the ideals my parents were instilling-  same ones I hope to instill in my own children.  Often, I've wondered, how to balance my children behaving grateful with spoiling them.  I worry that my children won't feel grateful unless they do without, and my whole experience as a parent is to provide more to my children than I had.  I think we all struggle with this.

I remember my best friend had a coke shirt.  Not a coca-cola shirt, a coke shirt.  I had a bright yellow, couldn't sell that color, esprit bag.  I had a plastic'ish flight jacket.  Oh the humility.

The good news is there is hope in the world.  My children can feel grateful while I spoil them.  My children can decipher between love and materials.  My children can understand the difference between brand name and generic, and appreciate the decision process that comes with it.

My daughter saw the "just like" American Girl dolls at Michael's.  They are $22.  She decided, completely on her own, it would make more sense to ask for one of those instead.  They look the same, and cost less.  She reasoned she would probably get more accessories and outfits at the reduced price.

My heart smiled. 

Guess what the dear daughter is getting for Christmas...

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