Friday, March 28, 2008

My Childhood Dream

I was 7 years old... As morning dawned I dressed myself and picked out an outfit for my baby. I played with her throughout the day and took her to meals, setting her in her high chair and feeding her plastic food. Before I climbed into bed, I changed her into her nightie and tucked her in her cradle with a tender "good night". She was my baby doll...

It didn't last long, me caring for her all day every day, but she continued to be my special little one. I had many dolls growing up - Nellie, my huge cloth doll that I slept with and played with until her stuffing came out; Samantha, the American Girl doll I excitedly unwrapped on my 8th birthday and played with as her hair matted and my little sister "lovingly" bestowed green marker on her body; a big doll house full of little dolls, with families of sometimes 20 children; and my last doll, Kaitlin Leanna, of American Girl doll size, but for only $20 from a local Walmart. These were my childhood friends, my babies.

I played with them every day (at least!) until I was around 12. Then I gradually, reluctantly, started to grow out of them. My big dolls had wardrobes with dresses for every occasion, with homemade additions from my sister Miriam and later me, as I learned to sew. My little doll's house was decorated with everything small, miniature dishes, tools, trunks - anything I could find their size. My dolls went on trips with me, came with me to concerts, and even came camping! Many happy hours were spent playing dolls alone, with Jubilee, or with friends, making up elaborate stories for them to live out.

Much as I enjoyed plastic or cloth babies, nothing could compare with the real kind - the kind that breathed, cooed, and smiled. Everywhere I went, if there was a baby, I always tried to find a way to hold it. Those who knew me well joke that if a baby is around, it doesn't take me long to get it in my arms! =) I loved (and still love!) the precious bundles of joy. There truly is nothing like a baby. Even if I only get to hold one for a few minutes, they fill me with such contentment and joy. I may have begun leaving dolls behind at age 12, but I began something even better: babysitting! I only have one younger sibling of my own, but I've been able to watch a few special families grow up. The love and joy "my children" share and the excitement on their faces as they greet me is so priceless! At age 9 I was thrilled to welcome my first niece, and have so enjoyed all the time I get to spend with my precious 7 nieces and nephews (#8 - Luke and Michele's 5th - Bethany Dawn is due in August!!!) .

To be a mother is truly my childhood dream. It was my dream at 7, and it's still my dream at 17. I know that it won't be all coos and contentment, but I do believe that I will find fulfillment in it. I will probably do many things in my life, but my biggest hope is that I'm able to spend most of my life as a wife and mother.

Below is a slideshow depicting my childhood dream. It's full of pictures of me doing what I enjoy so much: holding young children, or, in years gone by, playing with my dollies. I hope you will enjoy and be blessed by it!

The song is the perfect one to voice this desire. It's sung by Serene and Pearl, and Mrs. Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies was very kind to give me permission to use it in this slideshow. I first heard Pearl and her daughter sing it at an Above Rubies retreat in 2005, and it filled me with delight as I listened - this was my heart's cry! We bought the CD, and each time I hear it, my heart again sings along.

(If I showed this slideshow to you before, you may still want to watch it again, as I've changed it a little bit. If you want to see it bigger on GodTube, go here.)

God knows His plans for me. I pray that they will include being a wife and mother, but ultimately it will be His will that prevails. And I trust Him, leaving the future in His hands.

"Only a childhood dream, but make it real, let me be like the mother in my childhood dream."


Ella said...

Anna, what a lovely video. I know that this is your heart and I am praying about it with you. God is good; we can trust in that!

Congrats to Luke and Michele!

Ella said...

Oh, I fogot to say that I also had my Samantha doll when I was 8, but it was for Christmas )

Lexie A. said...

Awww Anna that brought back many memories of my childhood. I was a big American Girl doll fan and my parents spoiled me with yearly trips to American Girl Place the store in Chicago (since im from IL) and I kind of miss it, but my little sister Katera who is 9 is into American Girl Dolls and we go to American Girl place pretty much every couple of months and she has my original two dolls Addie and Kit and it is amazing to see how her collection has grown.

Maria Pauline said...

I really like that song and the reoccuring picture of you at your window. So sweet little children and loving Anna caring for them.

If only there were more children in my life!

Robert said...

I enjoyed the video.The pictures went well with the lyrics.I first saw it a couple of days ago on Godtube.

At my church there's two young girls(ages 9 and 7) and they always like to watch and play with the pastors 8 month old son.They also love to push him around in his stroller.

As Olivia said in a Walton's episode "I can't help thinking that there is nonething in this world so rewarding as sitting in that rocking chair late at night and holding a warm little body next to yours".

Rachel said...

Oh so many memories! They are wonderful things to think on, the girlhood memories of playing with dolls. Thank you for sharing!

By the way, I also was given a Samantha doll, though I was a bit younger at five when I first got it.

Anna Naomi said...

I'm glad you all enjoyed the video!

It's neat that others of you had the Samantha doll as well. Many happy hours were spent playing with mine!

Robert: It's so sweet to watch little girls play with babies. They just know exactly what to do! I also like the quote you posted from the Walton's - so true!

Bonnie said...

That was a lovely post and video Anna!

I used to play with heaps of dolls too! Even my brothers joined in sometimes! ;-) But, my little sister (8yrs), has barely ever played with them!

I love babies and little children too! I got to hold a baby today, actually! Having some of my own is one of my big dreams :-)

PoetLady said...

It was sweet to see all 3 of my kids at different little ages again. They grow so fast, Anna. I will remind Ron to watch this too.

I know you'll be a great mom, you have more talent in it than I do.

Enjoy sleeping without small kids crying while you can, your years will come.

We'll see you in May, I'll just be bringing Lisa Beth on my birthday as James has 2 games that weekend, and Sara has 1 too.

Thanks for all you do for us, whenever we're together you're such an encouragement.

Your oldest sister,