Today I’m sad because it doesn’t make any sense for me to buy an American Girl doll for Grace.  Grace has a few dolls.  She chews on them.  Bonks them in the head.  Flings them around by their feet.  Her brother has shown them much more kindness than Grace ever has.

American Girl sends us a catalog every now and then.  Most of the time I just try and throw it in the recycling bin without even opening it.  Today I opened it because the doll featured on the cover looked perfect for Grace.  She is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, ballerina.  She’s only available in 2014.  This is the one I could have justified the expense for.  It is sooooo Grace.

Grace and I could have talked about which accessories would be the most fun.  Grace could have had pajamas that matched with the doll.  We could have gone to the store at the Mall of America and picked her up.  We could have done everything girlie associated with that.  I can picture how I would have wanted that to go in my head.  It’s just not that way though.

It’s a similar disappointment to the one I experienced when Grace got off the ketogenic diet.  I could finally paint her little toenails!   I bought a beautiful, shiny, pink for her little feet – but when I sat down to do it… she hated it.  I painted two toes.  It looked like the polish had been spilled she had moved around so much.  I gave up at that point.  My desire was her torture.

When she went to sleep that night I removed the polish.  Until now I don’t think anyone else ever knew it was there.

I know it’s not important in the grand scheme of things.  It’s just not.  There’s so much more to the whole mother/daughter thing.

But it’s a reminder.  This thing that hits you every now then like you somehow forgot that the daughter you have isn’t the daughter you imagined years ago in those first few moments when they said “It’s a girl!”

What’s important is that today – this same day I’m sad- Grace has made me laugh and smile several times.  We took in a show at the Civic Center.  We watched a little My Little Pony, had a snuggle on the couch, and I kissed her goodnight on her cheek before she got tucked in.

I think we are going to buy the books about the doll.  We can read them together and that will be our American Girl experience.    That too I can picture in my head – and I can make it happen.

Jan. 11 2014