Gone With the Wind

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.

19 Responses to Gone With the Wind

  • Let them be blessed with daughters of their own.

  • I totally understand, mine are 10 and 7. Something so peaceful about the house when they are in story mode. I too am trying to remember daily to just watch and listen and store it all up!

  • You made me cry this morning! Good for you for letting them play with that Barbie. They’ll remember that the rest of their lives.

  • My SIL gave my daughter a collectable Christmas Barbie for her first Christmas (at age 3 months) – along with the most! serious! discussion about how it was a collectable one, shouldn’t be taken out of the box or played with, etc., etc., etc. So, for years she sat high on a shelf in my daughter’s room… constantly taunting her as Kat played with the “cheap” Barbies. Finally, one day I gave in, too, and let her have it. That was her favorite Barbie. And quite frankly, my SIL has never asked about the Barbie.

    Oh, and my now 15 year old daughter begged me to pack up her American Girl doll and the million dollar’s worth of accessories this past summer. The AG doll had been sitting quite lonely in the corner for a few years now but I was hoping she’d stay there until Kat left for college. It was a sad day for mom!

  • How very sweet. You made a memory for them that will be more priceless than the collectible. Thanks for sharing.

  • I totally get it! Sadly, we have crossed over from little girl into young lady and the cute little toys of the little kid years sit dusty in the closet. It was really hard to come to grips with except for the part where I don’t have to figure out which Littlest Pet Shop set she didn’t have yet and ‘needed’ or which Beanie Baby she would covet next. But..sigh..I still miss it. : )

  • I played Barbie’s with my daughters when they were little. Somethings you just don’t have to get too old to do. And I’ll probably play Barbie’s with my granddaughter when she gets old enough to be interested in them.

  • My daughter is turning 12 next week. While she isn’t asking for a Barbie or Barbie stuff for her birthday, they are still regularly spread out and played with in her room. She also is still very affectionate and attached to me. When I start feeling claustrophobic from her hanging on I just try to remind myself that sometime in the next year it will probably all stop. Then I will be wishing for those claustrophobic moments. Oh sheesh! Gotta go get a tissue now………

  • I totally understand! My girls have long since grown out of playing with their Barbies, they are 22 and 18. Cheers to you for letting the girls enjoy the “special” Barbie that brought your mother such joy.

  • Sweet days…..sweet memories…..
    The days are long but the years go FAST!
    My Emily still has a box of Barbies packed away in the garage…..and even at 22 she (nor I) want her to part with them…..
    p.s. – I can’t believe Emme is 10 and as tall as you! Please tell her Mrs. C says “hello” – and “hi” to Cailey & Jensen, too!

  • Gah! My eldest daughter is 18…it seems like yesterday she was playing with Barbies.

    Sigh.

    Thanks for making me cry into my coffee.

    LOVE this post. Beautiful!

  • I love this so much.

  • Beautiful, Dee Dee. And I’m glad your girls will have this post to read someday when they are your age now.

  • My girls are 19 and 17 and I remember the plethera of barbie stuff they received because I didn’t have very many barbies when I was little. They have kept a few “in case” they have girls. BTW, Gone with the Wind is one of my favourite movies of all time. I received it from “Santa” when it came out on DVD.

  • Oh my goodness. I am 7 months pregnant with Baby Girl #3. The other girls are 5 & 7. I’ve had a stray kitten outside my house tugging at my mommy heartstrings all day. It’s too much. I wonder if we need some Barbie playtime. Right now.

  • DeeDee – I was moved not only by the story and your point, but also by your incredible writing. Whenever writers like you step out of the humor zone and amaze your readers with something like this, you prove again and again that humor is *so* much more difficult than pathos – if you can write humor day in and day out, you can write anything! Still praying for the knee pain and for an emotional lift. I have a new baby and lots of time for prayer in the middle of the night – you are on my mind.

  • What a beautiful post, D2.

    As the mom of a 17 yo daughter, teetering between the teen years and the adult years, those days of us getting along are getting more few and far apart.

    But ever so often, there is a moment of tenderness, a real heartfelt “I love you, Mom” and not just the required “Love you, too” now get off my back.

    For years she collected a special Collector’s Edition Barbie each Christmas or birthday (only 20 days apart), which now reside lovingly in the back of her closet.

    Maybe on one of her day’s off next week, I will see if she wants to play Barbies again. For just a little while, and see if we can recapture something we seem to have lost along the way.

    Thanks for the inspiration. my dear and beloved friend.

  • The good Lord knows what we need. I too got one of those special babies. I found out I was pregnant with cutie pie number 2 the day my mom died. Chasing a toddler and watching my belly grow is what I needed that first year to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    Thank you for the reminder that pretty things should get used! I don’t remember the last time I served a meal on my mom’s china. Sometime this weekend I’ll make sure I do, even it it’s only grilled cheese!

    The Barbie playing in our house ebbs and flows. I love to listen in when they play – such imaginations! 🙂 I’m not going to tell them they are too old!!!

  • Great story! I own all of the Gone With the Wind Collection! My mom bought them for me when I was in High School. I had all of them except one. The one I didn’t own my Grandma did. When I graduated High School she gave it to me. Making my collection complete. I now have 2 little girls and expecting the 3rd girl and love the fact that my 4 year old loves Barbie as much as I did! And still do!