Friday, February 19, 2010

Adventures in Childhood

Have you ever had the sensation of watching something tragic happen, but doing little about it, until it's too late, because you can't believe it's really happening in the first place? Unfortunately, I've had this experience more than enough times to last a lifetime and almost every time during my childhood. I recall one incident involving Barbies. One of my dear Aunts, I think it was Jill, gave me her beloved Barbie dolls for my birthday. I loved Barbie dolls, but didn't have any of my own. My Auntie told me to take very good care of them. She may have said something like "I want you to love them like I did." My aunt is about 10 years older than me and I always thought she was very cool and to have her give me her prized Barbies...well, it was thrilling!

One warm day I decided to take my Barbies outside to play with them in the grass. As I delighted in pretend play I noticed that the storm ditch along our lawn had water in it. Playing with Barbies in the grass is fun, but in the water could be ever more fun. So, I changed the Barbies into their swim suits and proceeded to place them in the water. I don't think I had a firm enough grip on them, or perhaps, I just wanted to see if they would float, so I let them go. The water was rushing and swooshing down that drainage ditch so fast that the Barbies got away from me very quickly. They floated away first doing front stokes, then back strokes, then twirling like they were ballerinas, then bobbing up and down and all along the way the water appeared to be picking up speed. The Barbies proceeded down, down, down, down the street. Whoosh, whoosh...."oh how great they look in their swimsuits and their hair is holding up so well and they seem to be having such fun in the fast moving water toward a draaaaiiinnn!!!!!!" This is the point where I just stood there...kinda stunned and frozen....thinking in a young kid's way...."This was cool, but now this is a problem, umm, is this really happening?" I dashed down along the waterway just in time to see my Barbies go "plop" and "plop" through the grate (I think one of them had their arm up as if waving me goodbye) and into the sewer.

And what does a young girl do who just drowned two prized Barbies in a sewer-related accident? Well, you pick up the remnants of clothes off the lawn, run in the house and act like it never happened, right? Great plan until your Auntie comes over and asks to see the Barbies she'd given you. Note to self "water in a drainage ditch is always moving faster than it appears and the water ends in a way that is not conducive to small toys."

Making children's things always makes me think of my own childhood. This little chair is cozy and semi-portable, but NOT buoyant.

I love you Auntie,

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