On Dolls and Friendship | American Girl Truly Me

My little big girl was around four-years-old when we first walked past the American Girl store in New York City.  Her small hands pressed against the glass, transfixed with the 18-inch dolls in the window.  We didn’t go inside the store that day but ventured back on her sixth birthday.  Completely smitten, she insisted we weave through the tourist-packed streets to show her new look-alike doll, coined Aveniana, the extravagant holiday window displays at Saks Fifth Avenue.

On the heels of the last days of second-grade, we hopped the train back to American Girl’s New York store in celebration of their Truly Me collection.  The outing was elevated with an invitation to bring along a special friend.

fifth avenue new york city American Girl StoreAmerican Girl Store Truly Me DollAmerican Girl 5th avenue

Dolls were soon selected, and elaborate stories concocted as the girls ogled over karate costumes and pets, and names for their Truly Me dolls.

american girl truly me dolls

These sweet friends were lucky enough to share in American Girl’s personal shopping experience, with the assistance of Miss Nakiah –  the ultimate conduit of seven-year-old excitement.  She lead the girls throughout the multiple floors, contextualizing the historical and fictional stories of the dolls – and the representation offered for all girl’s through the Truly Me collection.  Past miniature glasses, and wheelchairs – accessories, and costumes – excitement reflected in every glass casing.

american girl store new york

The experience was highlighted with a trip to the interactive Truly Me Signature Studio to design one-of-a-kind backpacks and doll outfits  – all printed on premises!

American Girl doll truly me signature studiosignature studio truly me american girldesign doll clothes at american girl

The dolls even had the chance to get party ready at the doll salon.  Adorned with ear-piercing and hand-picked hairstyles, much to their new owner’s delight.

American Girl Store hair salon New York CityAmerican Girl Doll Store hair salonamerican girl doll hair salon

The final celebration took place in the private dining room – where the dolls joined the table in special seating.

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And childhood-excitement imploded all over Fifth Avenue.

American Girl doll store NYCamerican girl truly me

As girls with sophisticated imaginations celebrated their friendship and a truly special day.

Special thanks to American Girl for sponsoring this shopping and dining experience via The Little Style File.  Opinions, as always, are my own.

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SIX – A Birthday Letter

To My Darling Daughter,

A few evenings ago, while you were sleeping, your father and I quickly de-Christmased the house to celebrate six glorious years of you.  I gathered a bunch of your well-loved toys and arranged them on the mantel – My Little Pony’s and unicorns, farm animals and plastic insects, trolls and aliens, and a few odds and ends.  The arrangement was joyful and bizarre.  And peculiar.  And 100% you.

You were thrilled.

We celebrated you with a surprise trip to 5th Avenue to visit the American Girl Place – a doll store mecca I wasn’t sure we’d ever enter.  My, how time changes things.  We waited in line outside for quite some time, and when we finally walked through the doors, you intently studied the dolls enclosed in the glass casing.  As I watched your little hands press up against your reflection, searching for the doll that looked most like you – I couldn’t help but think about your growing sense of self, and increasing awareness for the world around you.

You vacillate between big and little.  Between wanting to identify common ground with your peers, and being 100% unabashedly you.  Between donning costumes and more accessories than a Christmas tree, to removing a prop in certain situations.  I can easily recall the familiar feeling of searching through metaphorical glass for something similar – something just like me.  Affirmation in a bigger girl’s voice.  A nod of approval.

Sometimes when I find myself worrying about the complexities of growing up – you remind me that you are navigating this ever-changing terrain just fine.  Like when you purchased the rock collection book at your school book fair, despite the fact that your friends told you to get the princess one.  Sometimes I still inwardly stress about you being the youngest (and littlest) in your grade, but I know that there is NOTHING small about you.  Just recently, a mother told me that when her daughter was taunted after a new haircut, you walked past unkind words, looked at your friend and said “You know what?  You are beautiful”.  

You make your mama’s heart swell. 

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My darling,  your name means light, and you undoubtedly personify that. Your magic is found in letting your light shine.  It is spread through your optimism, and eagerness to participate.  It is seen in the mountain of artwork that your feverishly create.   It is felt through your loving empathy and ability to quickly fill a tub with your toys to giveaway.  It is displayed in the shrines of acorn fairy homes (with accompanying stories) that you constantly construct in unexpected corners of our home.  And I now see it in a coveted 18″doll, ornately decorated and adorned with toys – wrapped in extraordinary childhood creativity.

Happy sixth birthday my love – you are truly coming into your own.  Please don’t ever be afraid to let your light shine because your presence continues to lift your family up in love…

…more love than I ever knew my heart could hold,

Mama

 

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