Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 8: Remodelling

I don't remember which Christmas it was.  I remember sitting in my grandparents' house, on the floor.  Or maybe I was nestled into a beanbag chair - yes, that seems right.  The year was likely 1985, or somewhere around there.  I'm sure my blond hair was in a ponytail or braids and I was wearing something yellow or pink, because that's just what I did.

Someone told me I had to cover my eyes , so I buried my head down deep into the beanbag chair, giggling at my luck that my Christmas present must be so large it would take an army of people to carry it into the room.  (It was really just two.)  When everyone shouted for me to open my eyes, my heart jumped two beats in pure elation.  Never had I pined for something so much in my entire life.  I had spent many days before imagining something like this making my world complete.  I knew that once our worlds collided my life would never be the same.

Meet, my Barbie doll house...

My grandparents gave this to me for Christmas many years decades ago.  I believe one of my uncles actually built it, but I remember helping my grandma put the windows in, and my Aunt Julia adding the stenciling in various places.  It had real wallpaper and real carpet.  Eventually my parents bought me an actual kitchen set and bathroom set to add, rather than the beauty parlor and McDonalds pieces you see here.  It didn't matter to me - I loved it from the beginning.

There may have been moments when I had reservations about it not being The Barbie Dream House from the JcPenney catalog I inspected carefully every Christmas, but if so, those were short-lived.  It was my prized possession.

I don't actually remember the moment when we decided to move it out of my room because I didn't play with it anymore.  I don't remember losing interest in Barbies, but I must have.  I do remember carefully packing everything away in organized boxes, and putting great thought into what outfits I was going to have my Barbies wear for eternity while packed away.  And then when I got married I remember my mom telling me I had to take it with me - even when children seemed so far off into the distance. 

There were moments over the years when they were pulled out by my nieces and young girls I babysat for.  I loved watching them get excited about it - in awe of this handmade treasure.  For the most part it's been in storage my entire adulthood.  I've moved it to three different houses, and into storage while we were in Northern Ireland.  All the while knowing that I was going to save it for my little girl to play with someday.

It turns out I don't have any little girls.  I am a mother of boys with this giant Barbie doll house I loved too much to get rid of.

Which takes me to Christmas of this year.  I'm not sure if you remember many posts ago I wrote about a present I was excited to give my boys this year?  It was this.  I decided to turn my beloved Barbie Doll house into a fire station in hopes that it would elicit the love I felt.
I knew I would enjoy doing it because I love that kind of stuff - figuring out how to make items work, designing rooms, miniature things, (playing with Barbie doll houses).

What I didn't expect was how therapeutic it would be.  It felt cathartic - rebuilding something I spent so much time playing with in my bedroom as a child.

 By the time I was finished I didn't really care anymore whether they loved it as much as I did or not, I knew that the entire experience was so good for me - somehow tying my past to my future.

Yes, that shower is made out of a toilet brush holder.

I loved doing this for my boys.  I loved doing it for me.

Today I am thankful for the opportunity to share a part of my past with my children.

They were excited to open it.  They play with it every once in awhile.  Mostly it sits alone in the corner of our dining room right now.  But it's there, an open invitation to play.

The Year of Gratitude 


Angie said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This is absolutely amazing!!!!! I love it!! You are very creative and talented.

Tiffany said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

@AngieYou are too sweet, but from the looks of it, you've been busy "remodelling" some of your things for your kids to play with too! (i.e. play kitchen) :)

Angie said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Yes, well, I cant take too much credit for that. I had the ideas, but the hubby did most of the work. Thanks for visiting my blog!! I REALLY need to update it....its been a year! I cant believe how fast that has gone by.

Julie L. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wonderful idea, Tiffany, and a great way to preserve some of your old memories as you make new memories with your precious boys!