Saturday, May 4, 2013

Dolls on Our Fur Couch

When I was a kid, my mom let my neighborhood friends and me leave our Barbies all over the living room floor.  Mom read lots of magazines and watched lots of talk shows on TV.  She'd heard that kids who are allowed to make messes grow up to be more creative.

I don't know if I'm more creative because my mom spoiled me or if I'd be just as creative as I am if my mom made me pick up after myself.  But I'm certainly a slob to this very day.  As a parent I find it difficult to scold Katie for making messes when I do too.  "Clean your bedroom!" sounds pretty hypocritical coming from a mother whose own bedroom is cluttered and dusty and prone to envelop important things that must not be lost.

Our Barbies were more than pretty playthings to my friends and me as kids.  They were the characters of the stories mapped out in our imaginations and realized in doll form.  Our Barbies lived lives similar to the soap operas playing in the background on TV.  Only instead of cheating and stealing our Barbies worked through struggles my friends and I faced each day.  It was fun to come home from school and act out one of the Barbies getting her first period, or one of the Barbies finding out her parents are getting divorced, or one of the Barbies who likes a boy who ignores her.  These stories meant a lot to my friends and me.  They were play therapy for us in ways grown ups sometimes don't understand or allow themselves to remember from their own childhood.

So when I stumble upon a scene of Katie's dolls, like this one below, it makes me smile and thank my mom for encouraging my storytelling.

Dolls on Our Fur Couch in the Living Room