Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Chasing the American Girl Dream

November 14, 2011

Last week the newest American Girl catalog came in the mail, and like I do every time I handed it off to my 7 year old daughter. She enjoys looking at it, dreaming of ownership, and admiring the outfits (that are reasonably priced at what it costs to outfit my own American Girl). This catalog was different, this year was different, her admiration had suddenly turned to obsession. She spent 10+ hours ooohing and aaahing over the catalog, logged onto the AG website and figured out how to fill her cart with more than $500 worth of items. She was chasing the American Girl Dream!

February 7, 2012

Must have lost my train of thought! I suppose now is as good a time as any to finish this entry. My husband and I talked, struggled with justification, and even picked out 1 American Girl doll with a new outfit. All I had to do was hit "complete checkout". But the internal war going on inside of me wouldn't commit. How do I justify a $100 doll and a $50 outfit? The satisfaction and happiness and glowing on her face Christmas morning when she woke up to a doll that looked like her should have been enough to seal the deal.

But it wasn't. We decided AG's knock off rival "Our Generation" would be just as wonderful to her. Of course this meant blaming Santa. We slathered his name all over those packages to make sure that if she discovered this was not straight from the catalog he'd be the one to blame. But she didn't blame anyone...she happily oooohed and aaahhed over the dolls, the clothes, the accessories, and she showed genuine love. The doll didn't look just like her but it had the same name which left her in awe.

I know it's not the same. I know that some of her friends are going to tell her the difference when they come over and play with her "not real" dolls, I know that one day she'll discover the truth. I hope that what she also discovers is not that she didn't have THE American Girl doll of her dreams but that she had the tea party of her dreams with her dolls and her family, that she had parents who sat in on sipping from doll sized cups, a little brother pretending to eat doll sized cake, and friends who didn't notice the difference. Those are the dreams I want her to chase, the dreams we will help make happen, and the memories created that she'll look back on one day.

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