The One Thing I Never Had

25 Sep

Did you ever want something really bad as a kid? I MEAN REALLY BAD. and you never got it…so then maybe you grew up and said to yourself, “Ill make sure my kid has what I didn’t.”

Life is different as a kid…for some reason, that popsicle or that toy is everything dreams are made of. You cant imagine a bigger happiness. Fireworks exploded in your eyes as a kid when you knew you were getting something you really wanted. For some reason as adults its harder to be that ecstatically happy even when we get what we want. Sure, we’re happy, but I bet you looked happier when your mom said she would get you the cereal box that came with the toy inside.

 

Its nice to see a child’s face so full of happiness with the simplest of things.

Well except now’a’days I’m sure they’re asking for things like Iphones, Ipads, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, ect. Kids have gotten expensive…oh boy. I have no choice but to raise my kid in the boonies!! 

I mean seriously…otherwise she’ll never know what a real childhood is about. Its about adventure, freedom, somersaults, and fireflies. camping, climbing, playing, and underwater flips in the pool. The toy section in a big store, hopscotch and jumping rope. Sharing secrets with your best friend, rollerblading, bike riding, and going to sleep at night hopelessly happy after a warm bubble bath and a good bedtime story.

Sometimes though…theres still that ONE thing that you always wanted and never got.

For me, it was a dollhouse. God, how I wouldve died for a dollhouse. It wouldve been like hitting the jackpot for me as a kid. I wanted one sooooooo bad, but never dared to say a word.

We were middle class growing up. We lived in a cookie-cutter house in a nice quiet neighborhood, with more than  enough food in our fridge, and wore clothes from K-mart and Sears. My mom regularly bought me toys and dolls. I treasured each new doll I got. It seemed to make my mom happy to see how well I took care of my toys unlike my brothers who loved to break every new toy in a WWF wrestling match, or unscrew every thing apart just “to see what was inside.”

Still, I wasnt a spoiled brat. I couldnt get every toy or doll I wanted, unlike my “rich” best-friend. Her dad owned horses and they had a big pool in their backyard. Anytime a new barbie was out on commercials…Stacy already had it. I was glad she was my best friend though. She wasn’t stuck up, or mean. She was a nice girl with blonde hair and the slightest streak of freckles playing across the bridge of her nose. We would play “pony’s” and catch  butterfly’s together during recess. She always shared her snack bar money with me too (snack bar was open right before we got to go back to our classroom to watch a Disney movie on Friday’s.)

One of my fondest childhood memories is my dad surprising me with a new doll every so often when he would come home from work. I would light up with happiness unlike any other. He knew I loved dolls. When I was 10 he took me to Toys’R’Us because I had gotten good grades on my report card. He said I could pick out whatever I wanted. well…

I wanted a “boyfriend” for my barbie. 

He looked like he’d just realized his little girl wanted to date. He said NO. His face was a mixture of confusement and disgust. I looked at the handsome Ken Doll in the shiny box above me and pouted.

“Im sorry Barbie…I know youre lonely, but youll have a boyfriend soon, I promise,” I said to my barbie when I got home that night. I ran my hands down her long brown hair soothingly. I got the supermarket for barbie with a shopping cart and all the little canned food, as well as some new outfits for my barbies that day. My dad was surprised that was all I wanted. Really though, I wanted 5 Ken dolls for my barbies. But I knew there was no possibility in that happening. I would have to wait until my mom took me shopping. She would say yes, I was sure. After all, she knew the importance of having a man around!

Well I got the Ken dolls later.

However, I couldn’t bring myself to ask for was the dollhouse. In my mind it was too expensive to even think about asking for. I was a kid, and it just seemed outrageous to ask my parents for something above $100.  The thing is…my parents actually could’ve afforded it. When I grew up and told my mom about it, she just frowned and said, “I wish you would’ve told me how bad you wanted one as a kid. I would’ve bought you one.” GREAT. There’s something I wish I could go back in time and tell my dumb ten year old self.

Instead, I only dreamed. I would secretly go through my neighbors hallway closet and pull out her moms sewing book because in the front pages there was a big picture of a beautiful dollhouse and all its rooms majestically adorned. I would stare at that picture for as long as I could before I heard someone coming. For some reason I couldnt let anyone know how badly I wanted a dollhouse. It was my secret.

One summer, when I was around 10, my dad took me and my family into the Home Depot for a home purchase he needed to make. I walked around calmly without a care when suddenly, there they were before my eyes… the most beautiful Dollhouses sitting in a perfect row on display. My mouth slowly gaped in amazement as I walked up to them. There seemed to be glitter and stars floating around those dollhouses. It was such a magical moment for me.  They were no longer in a picture book or in my neighbors sewing book. They were real and I could put my hand up and touch them. Some had house lights that worked and some had porches. They were…perfect.

Then I looked down at the prices. They were all over $100. My heart dropped. No way would I ever get one of those, I thought. I heard my parents calling me and I quickly left the dollhouses to go catch up to them.

Two years passed by. I was 12, and almost a teenager, but I was as innocent as a lamb and I still played with my barbies. So did my friends. Times were different back then. One day we were helping the librarian in our school clean out her library. She was getting rid of a lot of toys she had on display and my friends were scoring a lot of cool things. I looked around for something to ask her for since she was being so generous. I saw a Dollhouse book on display on a top shelf. It was a really tall book that unfolded into a doll house. It looked almost new and I didn’t really think she wanted to get rid of it, but I took my chances anyway and asked her for it. She looked down at it, and thought about it for a moment, her oval glasses hanging at the tip of her nose. I bit my lower lip and looked up at her with my pleading brown eyes. I wanted it more than anything in the world and I think she saw that. There was a pause. Then she tilted her head to one side and said, “OK, you can have it. But take care of it.” I smiled so big and held on to that dollhouse book so tight. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. For a whole year after, I spent countless hours playing with it. I would carefully open it all around, tie the strings together to hold it open, and let my imagination take over as I took my dolls inside the different rooms. It wasn’t a wooden Dollhouse, but it was the only Dollhouse I had, and even if it was a few years too late, it made me happy in my last year of childhood.

I think back on how badly I had wanted a Dollhouse and I pray my little girl will be as girly as I was. I will surprise her with the most beautifulest Dollhouse shes ever seen. I will handcraft it myself and adorn every room with as much detail as a real house. It might take me a few years, but I want it to be perfect for her. Im so happy Im having a girl. If she ends up being a Tom-boy Ill just have to keep the dollhouse thing as a hobby and join her in her mud races and tree climbing. (But Im crossing my fingers she’ll be into dolls and tutus haha.)

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