Both my mother and grandmother claimed that the epic film, Gone With the Wind, was their favorite movie in the world. They viewed it umpteen times during my childhood. And I admit that it grew on me over the years.
The name of this blog, is in fact, an homage to my mother and Nanny. As “fiddledeedee” was a quotable mantra of Scarlett O’Hara. My mother collected memorabilia from the movie for most of her adult life. When she died, I had the difficult task of sifting through all of her things.
I found 3 Gone With the Wind inspired Barbie dolls, still in their original unopened boxes, stashed up in a clothes closet. I found out that I was pregnant with Emme very shortly prior to my mother’s death. I believe that pregnancy was the only thing, aside from the grace of God, that got me through those difficult weeks and months.
I looked at those beautiful dolls, each decked out in full Scarlett regalia, and right there and then I placed them aside to take home with me. In the event that I should birth a daughter. Secretly in my heart, I believed that my mother had bought them for a future granddaughter.
When we moved to our little house when I was pregnant with Emme, I stashed them high on a top shelf of her closet. And there they stayed for 11 years. Recently, my girls finally spotted the boxes with the familiar Barbie logo, and asked about them. I had completely forgotten they were there.
I got them down and let my daughters ohhhhh and ahhhh over them, and I told them that they were collectible, and not to be played with. Disappointed, but understanding, they watched them go back up to that shelf out of reach.
My girls have many many Barbies, and the days of dragging them out and playing with them are getting fewer and farther between. Especially for one very grown up 10 year old, who is teetering precariously between little girl and young womanhood. She now stands eye to eye with me, and longs to appear grown up, but still occasionally finds comfort in the play of little girls.
Today I witnessed Emme nearly begging her 8 year old sister to play Barbies with her. Finally giving in, they went back to their room and set up their story. There was peace in my valley.
While I was cooking dinner, Cailey came to me and asked about opening up just one of the special Barbies. And made promises and pinky swears about taking great care with her.
My knee jerk reaction was to tell her, no, she had plenty of other Barbies to play with. But then something gripped my heart as I looked into her bright blue eyes.
These days of little girl ways, and Barbie playing are so fleeting. I know that I am going to blink and before will stand two very tall teenaged girls, who care nothing of Barbies, and play acting, and holding my hand in public.
I quickly recanted, and told her yes, she could open the box and play with Scarlett Barbie. Accessories included. She raced to tell her sister, who came to see if this turn of events were true.
Emme gave me a look of great concern, as though she thought maybe my days were numbered or I had lost my mind. “Are you sure, Mom? But she’s the special doll you got from your Mom.”
And I told them both that I really believed that my mother must have known that I was going to have two beautifully Barbie playing little girls. And that she bought them just for her granddaughters. I was equally certain that my mother would approve of my actions.
Gingerly, they opened the box and lifted the doll out. Admiring her hoop skirts and parasol. They played together quietly in their room for the next hour. And when they were through, they carefully replaced Scarlett into her box.
“Will I ever be too old to play with Barbies, Mom?” Emme asked me later. “No, baby. You play with them as long as it brings you joy. Do not let anyone tell you you’re too old.”
I turned from her before she could see the tears in my eyes. As it really began to sink in, that these carefree childhood days are numbered. And I need to cherish each one as though it were the last.
No matter how difficult, these are the days that I will miss the most when they are grown, and buying Barbies for their own baby girls.