Ok, so I'm officially in a Christmas-y state of mind. Last week, Britt phoned from the local Union office to say there were still kids in need of presents on the Angel Tree. One of them was a 2 year old boy who needed diapers and a ball. That alone almost made me cry. But there was also a 5 year old girl who wanted a baby doll. How could we not help her?
We've donated to charities in the past, but this year, I felt an urgency to help that I haven't felt before. Maybe it's because I thought about a little boy about Penny's age who didn't have a ball to play with. So Penny and I went to the toy store, and Britt contacted his co-workers to see if anyone could donate to the cause. He had pledges of $60 by the end of the day, and with money from us and Penny's grandma (who also felt compelled to help), we were able to get several things.
I'm not writing this to brag or increase my sense of self-importance. I'm writing because it felt good and important to help, and we didn't do it alone. In a way, I felt guilty for not doing something like this sooner, back when Britt and I were both working full time and theoretically had more money.
Meanwhile, in my quest to find dolls, I was overwhelmed by the girls' section at the toy store. It's a plethora of neon pink and purple and glitter and it's frightening. Penny's eyes widened as we walked down the aisles, because a new world was opened to her - a world of Barbies and Ponies and Princesses. I walked quickly and tried not to linger too long over anything, and then I felt like a hypocrite, trying to protect Penny from this world. Because I had Barbies and Ponies growing up and half of my life was spent dreaming of being a princess. It's inevitable. And then I rebelled against the princess mentality, so hopefully that's inevitable too.
Can I tell you a secret? Shh, don't tell Penny, but I can't wait for her to open her present from Santa:
(Image from HearthSong).
Wow, speaking of pink...
I ordered this from Hearth Song. Penny loooves babies. She still lugs my old Cabbage Patch doll around, like a cavewoman dragging her prey back to her lair, and still whacks herself in the face with its large plastic head, so this one will be more proportional. And she can put little Penelope Peapod in her basket/bed, which cinches up to allow for easy carrying.
I can't wait!
But that's another interesting thing. Why does Penny love babies so much? She gravitates to her dolls a lot more than any of her other toys. I'm not ready to propose that gender roles are totally innate, but it will be intriguing to see how her interests evolve. How much will she be effected by me, in an effort to share with her all of the toys I loved as a child (Barbies and Ponies and Legos included)? What limits will I impose? That she can have a Barbie, but it has to be the one most sensibly dressed?
Let's just take it one Xmas at a time.