Investing in the Future
      Karen James

After a recent discussion about Barbies here on Always Learning, I pulled out my suitcase of barbies and set them up for a photo shoot. Ethan (my eleven year old son) helped me dress them. He said he was really having fun. As you can see from the photo, they are a motley crew. Our cat just couldn't stand not being part of the fun, so he climbed in with them too. :-)

Included in the arrangement (you can't see it very well) is a sectional sofa that I made as a girl out of an old pair of corduroy pants, a cardboard box, some stuffing and some glue. Sectional sofas were big in the 70s. :-)

I made that sofa myself, but my dad used to set me up with all kinds of supplies for accessorizing my doll collection. He would bring cardboard home from his work. He would pick up carpet and wall paper remnants for free from stores. He collected scrap wood and taught me how to use a skill saw - hand first, powered later. He cared that I cared about these dolls.

My mom had one lady make some clothes for the dolls one Christmas. She marveled when I made my own clothes out of Kleenex, and at the elaborate homes I built for them. She didn't play with me. I would have liked that, but that's okay. She didn't have this awesome resource. :-)

Find as many ways as you can to fill your daughter's cup. Surprise her one day with some new creation for her dolls. Set them up in an interesting scenario, and wait until she finds them. Sit down and play with them with her. Grab a Kleenex. Make a skirt. Build a house out of a cardboard box. Help her decorate it. Buy a second hand one, and let her find it one morning. Get really creative and enjoy this time with your daughter.

More and more I'm discovering it's not so much about giving, as it is about building, and, as Sandra has said, investing. You are setting the foundation for your daughter's future interactions with the people she will come to hold dear (yourself included) - many little gifts given by you, that your daughter will be able to generously pass on to the people she loves.

Karen James
January 2014

Jayn's Romeo and Juliet, starring Barbie
(also on that page, Color-Magic Barbie picnic, with fairies)

More Barbie-in-the-lives-of-Unschoolers

More by Karen James

Connections Focus, Hobbies, Passions Strewing