Wednesday, December 24, 2014

(non) American Girl Girl ~ project complete

The last email exchange went as such:

From: Ranya, JR and JR Mike
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2014 5:29 AM
To: Anne
Subject: Re: Dolls

Ann, Good morning!!
We are ready for a new batch. We will be stopping by on Friday for the switch. Also, I made arrangements to bring Jannah-Rae in on the 23rd.
To: "Ranya, JR and JR Mike"
Sent: Tuesday, December 9, 2014 2:15 PM
Subject: RE: Dolls
From: Anne
There are no more dolls to clean!!! You’ve made it through all of them. This project is COMPLETE!
I can’t wait to meet Jannah-Rae.

Youth Collections Librarian

And with that the project came to an end. I frankly didn't see it coming, and neither did Jannah-Rae. I had always thought these girls would keep on coming. 68 dolls that needed a regular cleaning. I had envisioned the cycle: they would be taken home, gotten used, returned to the library, sent to be sanitized, returned into circulation. What I didn't ask about is the length of the cycle; I later found out the cycle was every six months. And so I had promised JR another group of ten girls to take home for another week, I was not prepared for the tears that ensued.

"But I love these dolls," came her first reply. "I know, sweetie," I tried to reassure her. "You did a wonderful thing by helping the library," I tried to emphasize. But she is not yet five, and grew attached to the dolls. "Can I have one for my birthday?" came the next question. And to that I had to fabricate something. Jeff and I had bought her a doll similar to the American Girl on a trip to New York once and we were planning on giving it to her for one of her birthdays; and it seems like this would be the best birthday to give it to her on. But I did not want to divulge the secret. "Maybe Auntie Janet will get you one," I said. Of course JR had an answer ready, "but she doesn't know I want one!" "You never know," I closed, "she might surprise you."

And with that I tried to shift her focus from having no dolls, to enjoying them while they were still around. We set out to play with them as much as we could. She picked two of her favorite ones and made them her own. We played restaurant, took them to the mall and the bookstore, sat them down for breakfast and dinner, and put them to sleep. They rode the carousel with us, went to our friend's house and FaceTimed Baba. It was amazing to see her interact with these dolls. I wonder if she will grow just as fond of the one she will soon receive!


Dropping off the last batch and saying goodbye was bittersweet

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