When I was in the 3rd grade (circa 1983-84) the hot toy for the season was the Cabbage Patch Doll™. Every girl my age had one. Each doll came with adoption papers that you sent in to “officially” adopt your baby and you could change their name if you didn’t care for the one provided and most girls had a doll that looked just like them. They were the American Girl Doll of the early 80’s. Those creators were geniuses in packaging because you could pick out a doll based on their looks and then you would be surprised to learn their name (Hidden deep in the packaging).
To obtain even one doll, you would have to have $40.00 of liquid money PLUS tax which, of course, we NEVER had. I remember that I wanted one so desperately. Every girl would bring her cabbage patch doll to school every day and tend to their every need. The really rich kids had TWINS! Which, I’m sure cost even more. I don’t think anyone ever made me feel bad for not having one and thinking about it now, I am quite certain that I was not the only kid in all of California to not have her own doll but at the time, I knew I would never have such a name brand toy.
It’s funny now to remember going to Alpha Beta (our local grocery store) and admiring that glorious pile of dolls, perfectly stacked on an aisle end cap somewhere in between the store entrance and the checkout lines. (To this day, I still don’t know why the grocery store carried CPD’s.)
Well, on one very ordinary day when I was a fourth grader….my many days of longing were over. For no reason at all, but just because they loved me, my parents gifted me my very own Cabbage Patch Doll. It was the real thing in a yellow box, not some knock off. She had medium brown hair and hazel eyes just like me. I carefully opened the packaging to find her name: Kirsten Mandy. “GASP!” ( This was significant because my baby sister’s name was Amanda Kristine). IT WAS SIGN! I wonder if deep down in my subconscious, it’s partially why I named my own real daughter Kirsten?…Hmm….
I believe wholeheartedly that wanting and waiting for something generates a greater appreciation for the things we have. A dear and quite generous family member wanted to give my “real” Kirsten an IPad for her 13th birthday and I was resistant to the idea. She is too young, right? Am I wrong?
Is it OK to be the first person your age to have something so expensive? Isn’t it better to earn it or at least to wait for it? What damage is done by giving her an IPad at age 13? I may need some help here. She IS a good kid and all; she is sweet, funny and manages straight A’s. So…Does this mean she has somehow earned it already? Will she FOREVER live a life of expectation and subsequently, disappointment or worse!-entitlement-because of this one gift? (sigh…..I don’t know, probably not). But, I want my kids to at least ask for the latest and greatest, -to then- have to wait for it and if I really want to build their character, they should work for it! I’d guess I’d rather have her grow up to be a poor, little, rich, white, Mexican than just a rich little white girl.
PS – after a little time, we all agreed together that Kirsten didn’t need her own IPad, …quite yet.