The pile of mail on the front entryway table grows daily. Periodically, I shuffle through making mental note of the contents. It would be better to sort it out and write things down. I resist better ways.
It’s the holiday season with advertising in full swing. Coupons and circulars and free offers intersperse with bank statements and bills and the occasional letter. Fantasy me thinks of all of the deals I could score, while reality me counts the actual cost and discards some of the unnecessary.
Rifling through slick, thick papers, coupons, and lustrous catalogs, I stop suddenly. What is this?
For the first year ever, the American Girl catalog is lost in the growing stack. It is not being pored over and circled through and dreamed about. It is left alone, untouched, abandoned.
This is it. The year.
I have known it was coming and saw it foreshadowed here. There have been small clues along the way. The last catalog that arrived close to birthday time (those sneaky marketers!) still held interest with the gaming accessories circled. It was still looked through and desirable.
By Christmas, no more.
The final daughter has left elementary school behind and stepped up to middle school. Still in love with Rainbow Bear and some of her other precious childhood toys, she no longer lugs out bins and boxes of accessories to set up doll play circles.
This year I won’t set an alarm to wake with excitement at midnight on Cyber Monday to scope out great American Girl online deals and try to score some. I won’t use Christmas money from relatives to buy a doll or outfit or some other desired accessory.
It’s bittersweet, like every other final milestone.
In the past there was always another. Another baby, another toddler, another preschooler, another elementary age, another, another.
But this is it. The last little girl.
Memory lane takes me back to a hug from heaven and to Christmases gone by where doll beds were set up around the tree on Christmas Eve, dolls tucked inside, waiting for their humans’ discovery. I allow myself space and time to remember, following the Christmas trail on the blog.
Such goodness. Such grief. All the feels spurred on by a glossy catalog, the milestone in the mail.