Friday, March 9, 2012

I Wish I'd Bought the Barbie Dream House

My daughter turned 11 and I'm more aware than ever of the fleetingness of childhood. 

Like every mom out there, I wish for do-overs. But do you want to know one of my biggest regrets? I didn't buy her the Barbie dream house. 

Because she was my first, I was afraid of so many things: afraid of over-indulgence, afraid of promoting materialism and buying things that were really too big for our space. Sometimes fear kept me from lightening up, having fun and allowing her to have fun. 

And now? Every time I see a giant Barbie house I want to cry. That's no exaggeration. 

She asked for a couple of Barbies and accessories for Christmas and you better believe I bought them. I knew it would probably be the last year that airbrushed fake food, fuschia refrigerators, and skirts with a 3-inch waist would sit under our tree. 

When I'm walking through Target, I swoon over the 5T and under section with its tutus and puckered sleeves and pig-tailed, baby-teethed models on the placards. 

Childhood is sweet and so very short. It should be celebrated in big and little ways. I wish I'd known this sooner.

Today we're headed to the mall to spend some of her birthday cash on new clothes and bling. Money, by the way, is all she asked for. {Cue the crying. Again.} 

We will roam through Claire's, Gap kids, Old Navy, Justice and Target and I plan to savor every moment. I will tell her I like whatever she picks out {even if I'd have chosen something else for her.} We will ooh and aah over cheap, enamel-covered earrings with dangling ice-cream cones and doughnuts and peace signs.

I will listen sympathetically as she bemoans the tragedy of not being able to shop in the Junior's Department yet. I will keep my nostalgia to myself and refrain from saying what I really want to say: Stay small and enjoy being right where you are at this moment. 

I'm trying to slow the years. She's trying to speed them up. But we intersect in the today, in the here and now. I can't redo the past and I'm bracing myself for the future but really, I can't live in either of those places. Instead, I'll make the most of today and be ever so grateful that I'm still her favorite shopping companion. 

And if she asks to look in the toy section and finds a Barbie she just can't live without, well, bring on microscopic stilettos and tiny glitter jeans. 


  1. This is bringing tears to my eyes! My little girl is going to be 13 in two months. I can hardly stand it. It has all gone by too fast. Enjoy your shopping date. :) I still like to shop with my mom so I'm hoping that will carry on with my daughter and me.

  2. Oh I was just thinking of this morning as I was looking at Abbey's AG dolls. We have also moved on to itune cards, Claire's and clothes. Thanks for allowing me to cry this morning as we head to Kohl's tonight and shop in the misses section!
    Jennifer S

  3. This is making me tear up and I'm expecting our first girl next month. My boys are 5 and 3 and I worry that I'm not enjoying them like I will wish I had later. Thanks for these sweet reminders that time is fleeting.

    And also, I LOVE shopping with my mom. Maybe your shopping days together will last for years to come. :)

  4. Oh, this is so beautiful. There's a big lump in my throat right now.


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