Thursday, November 13, 2014

My American Girl

One of the highlighted memories from my childhood is playing with my American Girl dolls (for whatever reason, I called them "Girl American" dolls). I got my first AG doll, Addy Walker, the Christmas when I was 7-years-old in 1996. Throughout the years, I added to my collection of beloved dolls. Some of my fondest memories are playing dolls with my friends and creating our own accessories for them.

I can't find any photos of me with my American Girl dolls at the moment, but here are a couple pictures I did find of me with one of my dolls that I loved.

At my grandparent's house one Christmas

When I went to Illinois to speak at a pregnancy center banquet where my friend Dusty works last October, we made a girl's trip out of it, where several of our friends came into town. We spent one day in Chicago, which was my first time there! My cousin Daniel lives there and it was so fun visiting with him, introducing him to my friends, and him showing us many things around the city.

At one point, we were just walking around and exploring when I glanced over and saw the American Girl Place. I gasped excitedly and said, "I forgot the American Girl Place was in Chicago!" I was being completely serious and was completely thrilled. My friends and cousin thought my reaction was funny. Daniel even said he wished he had gotten my reaction on camera haha. He said, "Hannah's childhood dream come true, just 15 years late!" It was quite funny. :)

I did forget that it was in Chicago because I haven't played with my dolls in years, obviously. So it was a special surprise to see it. We took some time looking around the store and I got a little souvenir to take home, a doll t-shirt that says American Girl Place on it.

As I mentioned, Addy was the first doll I chose, so had to get a couple pictures with her section.

Daniel and I checking things out at the store
Everything was so tiny and cute

The reason I am sharing all this is because it is something that reminds me of Lily. Because of how much I loved my American Girl dolls, I have looked forward to passing them on to my daughters for many years. I have kept them all these years in hopes of one-day daughters playing with the very dolls their mother played with in her childhood. 

And of course, Lily was my first-born daughter. This might seem like something small, but it is yet another lost hope and dream of Lily's life. I will never see my baby girl play with the dolls that meant so much to me. I will never see her brush their hair, hold them, or dress them. I will never capture photos of her with them. It feels like a big gaping hole, something so important in the life of a little girl.

And I will never get to take her to the American Girl Place. I would have loved to take her for a tea party there, like little girls love to do. It would have been so special. But instead of taking her to Chicago to the American Girl Place, I was in Illinois to speak at a banquet about her brief but beautiful life... and I went to the American Girl Place without my little girl, a grown woman seemingly out of place in a doll store. Yet, with a piece of my past childhood forever in my heart and dashed hopes and dreams for the childhood my American girl will never experience.

To this day, they still send me their catalogues (do they not realize people grow up? lol). And I enjoy flipping through the pages and seeing all the new things they now offer. I can't help but wonder what Lily might have liked. Would she have wanted one of the look-alike dolls? What would her look-alike doll even look like? And I can't help but hope that one day my desire for raising daughters will be fulfilled and I will have the need for the catalogues again.



  1. Hannah, your post made me tear up because I know exactly how you feel about wanting to take your little girl to the American Girl Store. (We have one in Atlanta.) It is a special place and feeling and I can't imagine not being able to do it. *Hugs* I really hope you get to have another little girl some day so you can experience all the things you didn't get to with Lily. I know you will appreciate those things more because you realize how important those little things really are. I know that is one of the gifts that Lucy gave me. I pray for you all the time. I hope you are finding Peace.

  2. I have saved my AG dolls in case I have daughters of my my own one day. But I do see how much the loss of our son affects my husband. I know how much he longed to share some of his childhood toys with Cooper, they are safely stored for when that sweet day comes!


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