Today was the day! The excitement she felt inside was so close to the surface that she thought she would burst. She could barely sleep the night before in anticipation for this day. She had awaited it for such a long time. It had been highlighted on her small calender that she had on a little white table next to her bed. Everynight before she went to sleep, she would cross off the day and count the remaining until this day. And now it was here. It was October 17th. The day her dad was taking her to the toystore to buy a new doll.
She didn't have a specific doll in mind. She had seen all of the commercials on TV with all of the different ones she could choose from. There were the ones that talk, drink, give a bath to, and even change the diaper. She didn't necessarily care so much about the features of the doll as much as she did about how she would feel when she would hold that doll in her arms. You see, she wanted to take care of her doll and love it. She wanted to protect it and make it happy. She would show her doll just how lucky it was to have her. She had so much to give and wanted to give it all to this new doll that she would treasure.
Up until now, it had been just her and her dad, and he was the most important person in her life. She adored him and he would do anything for her. She was such a lovable little girl. She had a personality that made everyone love her. She had charisma, sweetness, and an ability to laugh and see the goodness in everything around her. She would do anything for anybody, even if they didn't quite deserve it. She loved to give, even if the only thing she had to give was a kind word or a smile. But, the best thing about her was her natural ability to love. Since she was very young, she loved to be affectionate and hug and cuddle. She loved to touch and feel. Maybe this was due to the fact that as a baby, she couldn't be touched very much. She was born with so many problems that the first few years of her life were spent in and out of doctors offices and operating rooms. All of these wonderful qualities made up for any small problems that she might have had in other areas. Those didn't so matter so much. Her dad made her feel like a princess and she thought him a king.
The day began early as she ran into her father's room and climbed up onto his bed. She awoke him, not with demanding shouts to wake up, but with a great big hug and gentle whispers in his ear.
"Do you remember what today is?"
He pretended not to remember and asked, "Is it first day of school?"
"No, that was last month! Today is the day we go to the Toy Store." She responded.
"Oh yes, that's right? Well then, we better get ready!"
He was just as anxious to see her happy as she was to find her new treasured friend. He knew she never asked for very much. But this is something she wanted so very badly and he knew it.
They drove to the store and parked the car. She grabbed her dad's hand and practically pulled him across the parking lot. They entered the store and she knew exactly where they were headed. She could not be distracted by all of the other featured toys that were displayed all over the store. She wasn't moved by the lights and sounds of the electronics, neither was she tempted by the flashy handheld games with all of their promises of audiovisual stimulation. She was focused and she had a feeling that her new doll was as anxious for her arrival as she was to find her.
As they neared the area of the store with all of the dolls, she let go of her father's hand and skipped ahead of him a few yards. "Come on, dad!" she urged anxiously.
Her dad knew how excited she was for this day and how much she had thought and dreamed about this moment. He wanted to let her soak it all in and explore all of her possibilities. They had talked about the price range she would have to stay within and the rest was up to her.
She walked right past the Barbie Dolls. Not only were they too small and skinny, but they were kind of cold due to the fact that they had every material thing that a human had. She looked for a doll that would appreciate her and be a little less focused on all of the material things.
She took a few minutes with each doll, picking it up, holding it, rocking it, and examining all of it's hands and feet and hair. She was interrupted by another girl who was with her mom. This other girl was crying about something that she wanted. But she wasn't just crying. She was really mad and was yelling at her mom so loud that other people in the store looked over to see what was going on. The girl didn't seem to mind that she was drawing so much attention to herself, and continued to cry and scream and after another minute or two, started to jump up and down and get all red in the face. She told her mom that she was a bad mom for not getting her the toy she wanted. Was that true? Was her mom bad for not getting her what she wanted? She must really want something bad to be so hurtful to her mom. Why didn't her mom just give it to her? Did she believe that tantruming and screaming would get her what she wanted? Her mom soon took her and guided her out of the department and probably out of the store. She wondered why the girl didn't just ask her mom more nicely about the toy. She looked over at her dad to see him just shaking his head a little but when he caught his daughter's glance, he gave her a wink and a big smile.
She went back to her task at hand. She really like the dolls that had arms and legs that could move because she really wanted to be able to teach her how to dance and walk and do all of the fun things that required agility and mobility. She didn't mind if they didn't have hair or not. Hair could be fun, but could also be a problem if she got candy or gum stuck in it. One thing that she did want was a doll that was happy. She wanted her doll to have a smile on her face and a sparkle in her eye. That way she would know that she was happy all the time. She didn't want her new best friend to ever be mad at her and tell her she was a bad friend or to be crying loud just to get what she wanted.
She walked over to her dad and asked, "Do you think I'll ever find the right one, Dad?" Her dad answered her with the wisdom that only a father can have. "You don't need to be in a hurry, darling. Take your time and find just the right one. After all, you are going to be together for a long time, so you need to make sure you pick the best one for you."
With that encouragement, she walked back to where she left off. There was another older girl close by, but she was focused on one specific doll. It was a smaller doll. A doll that looked like a teenager with makeup on. It was okay, but it had it didn't have a very friendly face. The girl looked around, as if to check if her mom was around. Maybe she was lost. She walked around the corner for a minute and then came back, only she wasn't carrying the doll anymore. Where did she put it. Did she change her mind about the doll and leave it somewhere? How could she be so focused on the doll one moment and then just let it go? The girl suddenly didn't seem to care at all about the dolls. She seemed in a hurry to get out of that section. She even bumped into the little girl as if she didn't even notice she was there. What happened? Maybe she was sick. Suddenly, two men in uniforms walked up to her as she was hurrying off and asked her to open the bag she was carrying. Just then, a man came walking up looking for her. The man asked these two men what problem they had with his daughter. He stopped mid sentence when he saw her take the teenage looking doll out of her bag. He just looked at her for a minute and asked her, "You were stealing that doll? Why would you steal? You know better than that!" She answered him softly, "You said I couldn't have it and I really wanted it, so I decided to take it anyway."
The two men in uniform asked them to follow them to a different place. They started to follow them. The girl looked scared and started crying as they walked away. The little girl wondered what they would do to her. Would she go to jail? Why didn't her dad buy the doll? He must have told her the reason. Why would she steal it and risk getting into so much trouble? Once again, she caught her dad's glance and this time they just looked at eachother, and without words, she told him that she never wanted to do that and it was a bit scary.
As she approached the end of the doll aisle, she noticed something. Inside a plastic display case, was the most beautiful doll she had ever seen. It's long flowing curly hair was the exact same color blonde as hers and she even had green eyes, just like her! She wanted to hold it and examine it as she did the others, but she couldn't. The only thing she could do was push a red button that said 'Demo' next to it. She pushed the big, red button and couldn't believe what happened next. This most beautiful doll she had ever seen came alive! She began to move and talk. She looked so real and so life-like. After a moment of talking, she began to sing a song. Not just any song either. It was the song that her dad sang to her everynight. She instantly knew that this was the doll she wanted. She called her dad over and announced that she had made her choice and this was the one she wanted. She showed the demo to her dad, explaining that the eyes blinked and she could talk and sing and move and read books that were sold separately at $12.95 a piece. This was the doll she wanted. She asked her dad to reach one of the large boxes that were up on one of the higher shelves.
She was so happy! She was beginning to wonder if she would ever find just the right doll and here it was right in front of her! She knew she had made the right choice and that she was going to love this doll with all of her heart forever and ever. Her father even agreed that it was a beautiful, fabulous doll. The only thing left to do was to bring it home and hook her up to her dad's computer and digitally program her with all of her personal information so they could interact. She was so excited. This was going to bring her so much joy. But her excitement quickly changed to sorrow when her dad told her that she would have to choose another doll. He told her that this one was way too expensive. It was more than double the price that they had discussed paying. It was an amazing doll, but the cost was too great! She felt her heart start to break inside of her chest. She could feel the tears welling up inside of her eyes. She could feel her mouth start to curl like it always did whenever she wanted to cry. A few quick breaths escaped her before her dad scooped her up into his arms, allowing her to bury her face into his neck. She just stayed there for awhile. What could she do? Her father held her as tight as he ever had and just kept telling her that he loved her and that together they would find a special doll that she could love and hold and take care of and that that doll would be perfect.
The little girl cried some but looked up in time to see the older girl walking out of some office followed by her dad and some police officers. She was also crying and her dad had his arm around her shoulder, but he didn't look too happy. The girl was glad she wasn't in trouble for stealing like that girl. Her dad asked her if she still felt like looking for a doll and she shook her head no. With her dad still holding on tight and carrying her toward the exit, the little girl noticed the other little girl that was still crying and tantruming about something that she wanted. The mom was telling her that not only was she not going to get what she wanted but she was going to go home and go spend some time alone in her room. She again was glad not to be that girl. She was sad that she couldn't have the beautiful blonde doll that seemed to be the perfect one, but she was glad to be in the loving arms of her father and she knew that what he said was true. They were going to find that perfect doll together and it would be the right one for her. She didn't know when it would be, but she trusted that her dad would keep his promise and help her. She squeezed her dad as tight as she could and told him that she loved him as they walked out of the store and back to the car. Her father thought to himself how very proud he was of his daughter for trusting in him. He loved her so much and knew that she deserved so much more and he vowed to himself, and silently to her, that he would make sure that before too long, she would get all that she deserved and even more.