2 months ago in June, we were in Target together. The five year old, the three year old, and me, the Mommy. We were walking through the toy section, looking at baby dolls.
"You can each pick out one baby doll. It'll be your gift from your sister for your birthday." I hadn't taken the time to take each girl individually to shop for her sister's birthday, so I let them each pick their own toy, and that would be their birthday present from their sister. If that makes sense.
"Now, this is a special toy, girls. It's a gift from your sister. I want you to choose carefully because I want you to enjoy this gift for a loooong time. I don't want you to get home and play with it for one day and then forget it. I don't usually buy you new toys. I don't want you to throw it in a pile of other toys and then beg me to buy you a different toy. It's your special baby that I want you to care for and enjoy for lots and lots of days, OK?"
As if I could make that happen just by stating it in the middle of Target.
But they assured me that this could NEVER happen. They swore their undying affection for these specific baby dolls. Never to leave their arms again, they pledged, and faithful mommies they would be.
They searched carefully for the perfect baby doll for sixty minutes, picking each one up, holding it in their arms to 'test how it feels.' Finally, they each had their selection and off we went to home, with the 'very special' new toy in their arms.
Later in the summer, we were happily picking blueberries with lots of cousins and aunts and uncles.
Uncle Carlos said that the person who found the biggest blueberry would get a prize. The five year old searched and searched, and when she presented her plump berry to him, she won the prize. Five whole dollars from Uncle Carlos.
So we went to Walmart. And we perused the toy aisle. Pretty similar to the 'special baby doll' selection. Only 'the best toy ever' would make the cut for using her biggest blueberry winnings: the five whole dollars. Each potential candidate was taken down, held, carried around, tested for 'how it feels'...until what seemed like hours later, a small memaid was selected and deemed worthy to take home.
Both the birthday baby dolls and the small mermaid were held in high esteem for several days. Maybe even a week. They were taken everywhere. Talked to. Held. Played with. Enjoyed.
But eventually, their newness wore off.
And where are they now? Laying, forgotten, on the floor of the car. The other is tossed casually into a pile of stuffed animals. No longer so special. No longer desperately 'needed' as was so passionately delcared when we were in the toy aisle of Target.
I noticed those toys a few times in the past week or so. I noticed them because I thought to myself how similar I am. Similar to my little girls. The five and the three year old. Because I, too, think that I so desperately need new, I so desperately need more.
How many items of clothing in my closet have I thought about, wanted, and looked for until I found the 'perfect' selection? And how many of those things are now deemed useless when I open my closet and think that I have 'nothing to wear'? How many times do I think that I need more?
Those two little baby dolls and the small mermaid remind me every time that I happen to look at them that I really do have enough, and that getting more will not make me feel happy, satisfied or fulfilled. No matter how much I think they will when I'm in the big-people's version of 'the toy aisle of Target.'