The weather was sunny with the slightest breeze and I was off to an antique show. I love antiquing. Treasures. As I approached the last booth, I was suddenly paralyzed by something in the display case. A 14K gold hook and eye pin that transported me back 35 years into the kitchen of my childhood home in Boston.
I was raised Irish Catholic and attended parochial school for twelve years. Rules. One being, no one was allowed in our house when my mom wasn’t at home. I don’t know who I feared more, God or my mom!
Esther, our upstairs neighbor and adopted grandmother, loved two things: knitting and my sister (not necessarily in that order). They would play “Barbie” for hours. Esther would even knit outfits for Barbie. Can you imagine knitting such small dresses and sweaters!
One day, my mom was not at home and Esther knocked on the door to spend some time with my sister. My sister knew the rules so she came up with a brilliant plan. The back door had a screen door with a hook and eye latch. By opening the back door and latching the hook and eye on the screen door, they were able to play dolls and not disobey.
With watery eyes, I remembered my sister on one side of a screen door and Esther on the other side. Mission accomplished!
Normally, at the end of an antique show I play a game “if I had all the money in the world what would I buy?” I didn’t play today because I was overcome with childhood memories.
I used to be profoundly sad to have lived my childhood with fears, barriers and rules. I was suddenly filled with an overwhelming sense of love as I looked at that scene through a new lens. Perspective. My baby sister overlooked the barriers.
Barriers…what are yours? Can they be overcome? What are you willing to do about them? Please let “Playing with Barbie” inspire you!
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South Glastonbury, CT
Mary MacGregor is a guest contributor.
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