“A dolls ability to uplift the human spirit can be immeasurable" - Gayle Wray
When I was a little girl I loved dolls. I would carry mine wherever I would go and care for them with such affection. My collection of dolls was lovingly nurtured by my mother. It was an unspoken love affair between the two of us. I dreamed of the day I would share this love affair with my own daughter. What I never imagined was that my daughters unique spirit would teach me more about myself than I ever thought possible.
Saturday we went to a good friends birthday party at American Girl. If you've never been I highly advise going at least once in life. This is a fantasy world for little girls that love dolls. Maddie, however, is not one of those girls. She's never shown a lot of interest in them and I'm fairly certain the few she has have been shoved in the bottom of a chest in her room for at least the last 6 months.
Learning how to let go of who I expected my daughter to be and loving her for who she is has proven to be one of my biggest challenges of parenthood. I often feel I have placed the burdens of my own life and losses on her with too many expectations of her to be my best friend just like I was to my own mother. My heart seems heavy with regret on some days when I feel the weight I've put squarely on her shoulders.
When I began to put these images together what I saw was her story for the very first time. It wasn't a story about dolls or even a birthday party. It's a story about friendship and doing for others. A story about growing up and her ability to love everyone for who they are at any given time. I might still need her. I might always want her by my side. I might need her to forgive me one day and to love me just the way I am. This is her story that started with a gift in a donut bag and ended in doll 'do's...with some comedic antics of little brothers in between.