why in the world would anyone spend $120 on a doll?!
and here is the story.
you know, i'm not even really sure when or where or by whom she was introduced to the glamorous world of THE AMERICAN GIRL DOLL (yes, that needs all caps). maybe it was her cousins, or the catalogs at grandma's house. it could have been at soccer practice (as funny as that sounds) or on thursday's at RMCA.
she has wanted one for close to two years now. we held off with "you're not quite old enough" for awhile and then, a few months ago when she realized her birthday was approaching, her one request for turning 7 was "Isabelle, mom, she's the girl of the year. and she comes with a SALON chair, momma!" (um, no she doesn't....that'll be an extra 60 bucks there pumpkin. ;) )
dave and i spoke briefly and emphatically decided we will NOT spend $120 dollars on a doll. we just won't.
so we pulled her up on her bed and explained to her that an American Girl Doll was just too expensive. they charge way too much and "hey, look" (i grabbed my laptop conveniently opened to target.com) "target has these our generation dolls and they are 30 bucks!"
we perused all of wonderful accessories the our generation dolls had to offer. i made sure to point out that if mommy and daddy got her the doll, maybe grandma and grandpa could get the salon chair!
she seemed settled and very content to ditch the american girl doll dream and embrace the cheap target knock offs.
but somehow Isabelle and American Girl Dolls kept making their way into conversations and she'd say things like. "it's okay, mommy, i can just PRETEND the our generation girl is an American Girl Doll and i can PRETEND she's isabelle."
the real clincher happened a few weeks ago after soccer practice. when we got home she explains how she had mentioned to her teammates how crazy expensive American Girl Dolls were "can you believe they cost that much" and then she was trying to be strong, but was definitely holding back the tears as she re-told her little story "mom, they ALL have one and lots of them have MORE than one!" "it seems like every one else has enough money for a REAL american girl doll."
oh. sweet, sweet baby girl.
so, i came up with a plan. we have both grandmas and grandpas in town. we have cousins and a wonderful aunt and uncle. i asked all of them to not buy avery a little present for her birthday, but to just give us what they were going to spend on her and we'd put all of the money toward Isabelle.
she had no idea. after the little teary soccer mishap, she recovered and continued to be excited for her our generation doll.
i collected cash and checks from our family, ordered Isabelle and when she came, hid her safely in the garage away from curious eyes. i'm not sure i've ever been more excited to give someone a present.
because we had just ordered an american girl doll, they, of course, sent us a catalog in the mail. avery pulled the catalog out of the mailbox and excitedly flipped to the center pages where she knew she'd find pictures of Isabelle. "there she is mom." she sighed, "i wish she was only 1 penny!"
on a thursday when the kids were with grandma, i pulled Isabelle out of the cardboard mailing box to wrap her up. and as i was cutting and folding and taping, i heard my God talk to me about my avery. He was saying so sweetly to my heart "this is from me. i want avery to know how extravagantly i love her. i want her to know that i'm SO proud of her. and i want you to tell her that before she opens this doll."
our God. He's pretty amazing, isn't He? you see, this past week has been a hard one for avery and i. Lord knows i love that girl with all that i am, but sometimes we get in these ruts of arguing and not being on the same page and butting heads. and this week was one of those weeks. i was frustrated with her little personality. and for God to remind me of how much HE loves her and how proud HE is of her and that His love is SO great that He orchestrated a way to give her the desires of her little heart. and at 7 years old, that desire just happens to be an american girl doll.
i was wiping back tears and praying over that sweet little overpriced doll. ;) praying that this doll would speak loudly of God's extravagant love for her and praying that she would always remember the year that God gave her an american girl doll. :)
and this is just a fun little side note. i'm in a facebook group that buys and sells used kids stuff. i have NEVER seen a salon doll chair for sale on this site. NEVER. the week before her birthday there was one for ten bucks and i got it. i mean, God loves Avery. and i just know that on her 7th birthday, He REALLY wanted to remind her of that. (and He wanted to remind her momma.)
she opened all of her presents. i told her that was it. she didn't even get to open an our generation doll like she was expecting and there was nothing but gratitude and sweet smiles. i was so ridiculously proud of her. and then mommy remembered "just one more." this was my first time truly surprising one of my children and i would highly recommend it.