My oldest daughter is working on a Barbie project in her sophomore year of college. She has to make Barbie more realistic. In an effort to help her, I went looking for old doll clothes that might fit a re-sized Barbie. When I opened boxes and baskets of doll clothes, voices of little girls filled the air and surrounded me with their joy and laughter. My three daughters spent countless days playing house and dressing up dolls for tea parties. Many a time I was a guest in the restaurant with the doll Lizzie and her friends as my companions. Some of the doll clothes are actually clothes that my own girls wore: a green bathing suit with bows of red and yellow and blue, and a pumpkin outfit, complete with a hat to make a happy jack-o-lantern on Halloween.
Where did the time go? Wasn’t it just yesterday, when I held all three in my arms as we read books on the couch? Weren’t we just dancing all together in the living room? And didn’t my husband and I chuckle over the wisdom the girls found in the moments of each day, that without a child’s perspective, would have escaped our notice? I can see their little faces, each with a distinct personality, highlighted I am sure by the current version of themselves.
The house is quiet during the day now, with kids at school and then extracurricular activities. Gone are the days when following three girls around the house seemed like a daunting task, but oh, how good it was.
Now they are off in a hundred directions, growing up into beautiful young women. And as much as I miss their little girl giggles, I love watching them become powerful strong women who have the courage to stand up for themselves, and make their own mark on the world.
So after my search, I put away the doll clothes, and soak in the last echoes of children playing. Their laughter finds its way to my heart, where I can pull it out on a rainy day when I need some joy. There will come a day in the future, when hopefully grandchildren will delight in the treasures of dollhouses and doll clothes and baby baskets galore. Until then, I rejoice in the voices of young women, sharing their days, and their laughter. And I allow myself to be amazed at the wisdom that comes from the old souls of these young women, who continue to help me see the goodness that is all around me, that now is a moment of joy, if I only stop to notice.