Friday, January 18, 2013

All In Good Time...

     So often as parents we rush things.  We introduce things before our children are ready or interested.  Sometimes it works out great, sometimes not so much.  It's not that we want our children to grow up sooner, but more that we want them to enjoy something that we think is really fun or cool.

     When Elliana turned three we gave her a dollhouse.  Said dollhouse sits in the corner of her room virtually untouched. It's become part of the decor, often not even being seen.  We thought it was super cool... isn't it every little girl's dream to have a pretty dollhouse?  The realization is that the dollhouse was our idea... not hers...  She wasn't ready.  I'm thinking it's time to tuck it away for a rainy day...

     This week we had the totally opposite experience. Elliana discovered one of the dolls that my great grandmother had made me when I was a little girl.  These fabric dolls were my friends and we had a lot of adventures. Elli immediately asked to play with it and has been lugging it up and downstairs with her.  This doll has become an instant playmate regularly hosting tea.  She named her Violet (all of her dolls are named Violet unless they came with a name).  My mom made Elli a dress that is a perfect fit for Violet who is now a wearer of purple.  Nate joined in on the action and they've both enjoyed Violet's company.  Somehow it came up that Violet has a younger sibling.  Nate's eyes lit up and he asked if we could get it out.  So out came Joey.  We made a quick visit to my stash of special baby clothes from Nate and Elli's early years; the kids were delighted at their new playmates and super-cool wardrobes.  On a side-note they can't believe they ever wore clothes that small!

These two are so fun!
    They wanted to know how long I'd had the dolls (somewhere around 33 years) , what their names were (Suzy and Sally I think, because that is what I named most of my dolls when I was their age), and why they could have them now?  I explained that they can have them now because they're old enough to enjoy them, play creatively, and to take care of them.  So Nate and Elliana are now each  the proud owner of a very special doll handcrafted by their great, great grandmother.  Pretty neat to see them so excited about their upcoming adventures with their new/old treasured friends.

     As they grow older I'll share with them more special memories of my Great Grammy and Grampa Butterfield.  How Great Grampa always had a special twinkle in those bright blue eyes and how he taught me to play games like checkers and slapjack.  I was routinely teased about cheating.  He was a retired farmer and took care of all the cemeteries in Brownsville.  How Great Grammy was a hoot!  She kept her binoculars next to the window to check out the neighbors' comings and goings... or maybe she was just watching the birds?  She braided rugs and made dolls.  She always had a joke, "Want to hear a dirty joke?  3 white horses fell into the mud!  Want to hear a really dirty joke?  Seven white horses fell into the mud."  She'd always bring me bags of treasure... empty creamer containers, scoops from ice tea, sugar packets, small spoons, coffee stirrers, and paper placemats from local restaurants. While these things may not seem like treasures today, I knew she cared about me and thought enough to bring me something fun.  I somehow easily found a use for all these things.  They had lived through the Great Depression and everything had value - a new purpose could be found for each item.  I will tell them about the special cupboard that always contained some sort of sweet, or at least some really hard bubble gum.  I'll share about hot cocoa with marshmallows and how there was always ice cream at every visit, even if it had seen better days.  Nate and Elli have already experienced the yard as my grandparents, their great grandparents still live in the same house, but I'll tell them about jarts and the lawn swing.  They were special people who I spent many happy hours visiting.

My Great Grandmother with my Grandfather.

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I'd love to hear about your adventures!