The dollhouse came to me as a rescue, kind of like Maisie but not exactly.
[from Pinterest. Different house but a close idea-picture]
Parents periodically go through the mass of toys and clothes that accumulate in a house full of kiddos. Children outgrow things or there just needs to be space to walk on the floor. Thus the large plastic dollhouse had been marked to go.
My daughter-in-love asked if I would like to have it at my house for the grand girls to play with when they came to spend time with us. I said, “yes,” of course, because what Grammy does not want to have cool toys for her precious ones to enjoy.
The big house stayed in the downstairs extra bedroom, the one that used to be the one and only son’s room until he went to college; then years later I transformed it into the Grands Room. It was the main play place. There was a closet with boxes of dress-up things and toy dishes, a child-size table and chairs perfect for a tea party. The chest of drawers, an heirloom of my dad’s making, held changes of clothes, PJs, and underwear just in case they got to spend the night on the spur of the moment. And there was a bed waiting for me to tuck in sleepy heads.
It was a room they could call their own. The dollhouse found a new home there.
The girls and their cousins played with the house, furniture, and small-size family for hours. Sometimes I had visiting little ones who enjoyed the house. It was a fixture in the room.
I carried the house upstairs to a different room after the family moved from the house next door. I needed a change in the Grands Room, not a reminder of their absence.
For years, the house lived upstairs, its contents boxed away in a storage area. The box came out occasionally for play when the grands came here or when other children visited.
This year, I wondered if it was time for the house to find a new home. My grand girls are growing into young women. I didn’t think they would sit in front of the house and play like they used to.
So I asked the two girls, via Facebook, if it was OK for me to give the house away.
Their comments were sweet and filled with memories of the house, but they graciously agreed to let another child have it to enjoy.
I knew who the little girl might be, the tiniest and youngest member of our family, so I texted her mother. She said, “yes.”
This past Sunday, this mom, her husband and children were in our neighborhood, visiting our common relatives and celebrating their daughter’s second birthday. I decided this was the day to deliver the house.
I carried it and the box downstairs and out to the garage. I walked the box down the lane to the neighbors’ house. Many family members were out in the yard enjoying the beautiful evening weather. Maisie was an attraction to the littlest girl as she reached her hand and said, “Me woof-woof” to Maisie.
I went back to my garage and carried the big house down the lane. When the littlest girl saw the house she began to smile and bounce up and down with joy. I grinned at her excitement, my heart warming to her enthusiasm. She began to play with it immediately, right there in the driveway. Her 15-year old cousin, the one who had played with my grand girls, began to help her pull furniture and tiny people from the box and place them in the house.
The experience was melancholy for me. It begins to close one era, the childhood of my grandchildren. They are growing up, each one of them gradually turning into young adults.
I walked back to my house, my eyes a little misty, remembering their childhood and how much of it I got spend with them, how precious those days together were. It is a gift I don’t take lightly.
As I talk to those young women who are now my grand girls and my growing-up grand boy, they sound mature in many ways. They are looking toward the future, and I wonder what God has in store for them.
I pray for His hand on their lives, that He will direct their choices, that He will show them His path.
Life changes and life changes us. We have to accept it, allow it to help us develop and blossom. We are always becoming, even as we age. If we dig our heals in and refuse to see change as an opportunity, we will stagnate.
I anticipate a different kind of relationship with my growing-up grandchildren, one where we share ideas and experiences and we begin to relate as adult to adult. They will always be my sweet Grands no matter how old they get.
The dollhouse has left the building. It’s OK. The memories are still here.