Tuesday, January 17, 2012
You know it's going to happen to you. Every parent has a story. Something precious is left behind and heaven and hell must be moved to retrieve it. Growing up we had a family friend who's daughter had this little doll. At their house, one time, he showed me a closet in the garage that was stocked with replacement dolls. All back ups in case such a situation arose. Well, after a lovely Sunday morning at the book store we were driving home when Gina suddenly asked "Have you seen Cinderella?" She's referring to a ballerina Cinderella Barbie doll that my mother got Arianna, along with a similar Ariel doll for Genevieve, with their dance shoes when they started ballet class (I haven't blogged about that yet?! Crazy!). Baby Ballerina Cinderella - as she's referred to - has lately been the go to +1 for Arianna anywhere we go. And this day was no different. But she wasn't in her hands right at that moment and that was enough to raise alarm between us. I shook my head. Suddenly, the little voice in the back quivered "Me left Baby Ballerina Cinderella at Starbucks." Let's avoid the obvious caffeine addiction my wife and I have when our 2 year old can say the word Starbucks and assumes that must have been the last place we visited, and focus on the fact that I don't even need to turn around. I can feel the doe eyes boaring in to the back of my head and the quivering lip is causing a great disturbance in the force. What to do, though? We don't really know where the doll is; we went a lot of places that morning. And nap time started 15 minutes ago. I reassuringly tell her that we'll go back and get her later - while glaring at my wife and shaking my head ever so slightly. She'll forget soon enough. Life will go on. Another doll will rise to fill the void of the fallen. Nope. Not at all. At bed time the flood gates again threatened to breach, but Gina assured her tomorrow we'd get her. Well yesterday we were going to the aquarium with their cousins. ... but Baby Ballerina Cinderella was the only one she really wanted to share the day with. So I called the book store (figuring it was while we were destroying the kids section that she probably set it down) and after the lady there left me on hold for 10 minutes listening to the same bad cover of "Mad World" on a grainy loop she finally came back on and told me they had her at the cash register. I actually felt a swell of relief. I smiled. ... a sincere smile. Genuinely happy that they had found Baby Ballerina Cinderella and kept he safe all night. So after lunch we drove down the freeway, back to the store and Gina and Arianna went in to save the princess - we'd built up the whole "rescue from the tower" aspect of this thing. As they came out of the store and paraded through the parking lot I couldn't recall ever seeing that kid so happy. This smile wrapped all the way around her face and touched somewhere on the back of her head. The whole way home she hugged that doll like. ... well. ... like I might hug them. It actually made the entire endeavor completely worth it. Because if you think of it like a dad we just spent more money on gas driving back there then we would have to buy a new damn doll. But the smile wouldn't have been as big. The joy of rescuing her wouldn't have been as sweet. And those things are worth much more to me. Much, much more.
at 7:07 AM