A question was posed on Twitter: what item did you have as a child that you wish you still had?
My instant answer was my Barbie dolls.
I played with Barbie long after I should have. I remember having just turned 13. I kept all my Barbie stuff in a big garbage bag in my closet, no longer displayed around my room, because word had gotten around to me that dolls were not cool for Junior High. That didn’t mean I didn’t love them still, though. One afternoon, none of my friends were around, and it was a nice day, so I pulled the bag out and took it to the yard and set up all my stuff. I played in the sun for maybe an hour, until Christina called and asked if I wanted to go to her cottage for the weekend. They were leaving right away, so I had to hurry. I threw everything back into the bag and ran upstairs to grab my bathing suit and PJ’s, and then off I went to spend the night at the beach with my bestie. What 13-year-old would be thinking of anything else?
Two days later I came home. It was raining. No one was around. I went in my closet to get my dolls, but they weren’t there. “Oh no! I left them outside! And it’s pouring!” In a panic, I run down and out and find the yard empty-they aren’t there. Relief floods me, as I go back in and ask my mother where she put them.
“I didn’t touch them.”
“They were in the yard, though. In the black bag.”
Her face goes white. She starts to cry, in the way my mother does when she knows someone else is about to cry, too. “Yesterday was garbage day. Dad took all the trash in the yard out.”
I dissolved into tears. I wailed. You might as well have told me my Grandma was dead all over again.
I went to my room and flung myself on my bed and sobbed. It was over, you know. My childhood. Done.
My mind creeps further back, to the old wooden toy-box I once had that kept all my very important treasures. I have very few toys left from my childhood: my teddy bear, of course, and a few stuffed friends that the girls held onto for me. I do still have the little rocking chair I would sit in and watch TV, and I have my toy desk that is still as good as it was in 1987. But I miss other things, like my Little People play-set, and my kitchen toys, and my pink radio. And my Barbies.
Oh god, I miss my Barbies.