One of the things I always wanted to do with a daughter was take her to the American Girl store. My parents bought me a “Truly Me” doll when I was nine and they would take me to the store in Chicago and allow me to pick out a special outfit for my doll. I almost always chose the New Year’s outfit. The memories I have of this time with my parents are some of my favorite memories.
Naturally, I wanted to share those memories with my daughter as well. And as silly as it may sound, was one of the reasons I wanted to have a daughter. I wanted to take her to have tea with her doll, let her do crafts with her doll, buy accessories for her doll. She didn’t have to love it, I would never force it on her, but it was something I wanted to share with her.
Before we heard the diagnosis of anencephaly we were told we were having a little girl. This was a huge surprise! I fully expected boys (I have five nephews!). One of the first things I said was that I could buy her dresses, I could take her to the American Girl store! I was getting excited, David was shell shocked. He was absolutely terrified of having girls. Why? Because he was scared of something bad happening to them. You can’t do much worse than the death of your daughter, so now he only wants girls. “At least one more!” He says.
We met my friend Emily for dinner. It was cute. Star decorations on the food, the other girls eating there had special chairs for their dolls. It was adorable. And I was happy, Brielle and I were having a meal together at the American Girl store.
David and I had originally thought we’d get Brielle the Caroline doll. It will be retired after this year, so we thought that suited Brielle. Then Emily mentioned Grace, the doll of the year. Grace will only be sold for this year. Well now we were in a conundrum. Grace or Caroline, or both?! As Emily walked through the store and I waddled, we talked about which doll to get.
David decided that we should get Brielle, Grace, the doll of the year. It not only suited her, but it suited our family. Grace was on a Parisian adventure, David proposed in Paris, Grace has a charm bracelet, Brielle and I will have charm bracelets, and she has quite a bit of turquoise, one of my favorite colors. So it was settled. David lugged around boxes of doll stuff as I debated which outfit to buy Grace, and should I buy the books, the dvd? Since Brielle can’t see the doll, we decided to buy the books and dvd so that she could interact with those. She loves books and likes movies, sometimes.
And now it’s decided, each daughter should have a doll of the year, for the year she is born. And Emily has bought her daughter, Riley, the doll of the year from 2014. I like that tradition. I had fun sharing this with Brielle and having Emily there with us. Brielle slept most of the time, but did do some happy kicks for us.
Once we were home I unboxed the doll. Rosie and Emmy went crazy sniffing the doll and as they sniffed Grace, I told Brielle about the doll. I felt quite a few big happy kicks. I don’t know what she understood, but I’m glad she was having fun hearing me tell her about the doll. And so far, she has enjoyed the Grace book.
A couple of days later, David bashfully said, “I had fun shopping with you and Brielle. I liked buying her things.” He loves his little girl so much, he is such a great daddy.