Sunday, April 02, 2006

Phone calls from Cecelie

Our youngest grandchild is now a very grown-up seven, and a phone call from her while she was on spring break was a welcome spring treat. She called Friday to tell me that later in the day they were going into Chicago to select her American Girl doll.

Feeling most of today's children have too many toys, I decided long ago that I would try to just buy each granddaughter one doll and that would be at age seven. (And with a few inexpensive exceptions, I have followed my own rule.) I started by buying the oldest granddaughter a special china doll from a special doll store in a nearby town. But a few granddaughters later, small china dolls were abundant many places, and by this time, the American Girl dolls were available. I think they are pricey, so I decided that such a doll might be better than a china one and might be helpful to mamas on a budget and something special for the seven-year-old.

I absolutely love the beautiful catalogs--better than the real dolls actually--and I love the concept of having a book for each doll. And when I was buying a couple at once, I was glad that particular Christmas that there were clothes to fit them in local department stores that were not as expensive as the brand clothes in the catalog.

Anyhow, Cecelie is seven and it was her choice to get an American Girl doll. And her mother decided a one-time trip to Chicago for the tea party and the musical/dance review offered at the store might be a special event for Cecelie to remember. Older sister Leslie and her girlfriend tagged along to shop in the area near the doll store. I am sure Cecelie enjoyed being the one tagged along with since she is usually having to attend her big sister and big brother's theatrical and musical events. And since Elijah had just returned from the Freeport seventh graders trip to Washington , D.C., it was neat for her to have some focus on her actitivies. So far, Cecelie does not think she wants to partake of the theater world, but she is a very fine actress, so we shall see. She is also athletic, and that may turn out to be her world.

In our Friday conversation, she was going that morning down to her neighborhood friend Tiffany's house, where they had a meeting planned with only girls allowed. They were going to have snacks, and Tiffany was going to continue to teach her to write cursive. I commented that was quite an achievement for a first grader, but she explained she had her friend to help her.

When we got in last evening from going to see the softball tourney at Pinckneyville, where our oldest granddaughter is assistant coach, there was a message on the answering machine from Cecelie. First she was explaining to her mother in the background that we were "not available." But evidently her mother quickly explained about leaving messages, and Cecelie did leave a very mature and delightful message thanking us for the doll and telling about her fun day. And furthermore, she added that when she had children someday, she was going to tell them about her American girl doll. What more could a grandmother want?

We have frozen at so many Pinckneyville tourneys in the past, that it was great to be there when the weather was just delightful yesterday afternoon. Although by the time Pinckneyville played Tara's alma mater Johnston City for third place around 4 or 5, everyone went to their cars and got out very welcome jackets. We sat on Pinkneyville's side out of loyalty to Tara, but I mentally cheered not only the Panthers but also all the girls we know and love from JC. There was no way that I wanted either side to lose, but someone had to do so, and yesterday it was Tara's team.

We could not take Tara and her husband out to supper as we would have liked to do, because they were quickly heading to South Bend,Indiana, where her dad, mom, and younger sister already were for yesterday and today's games on Notre Dame's Ivy Field. This was going to be Tara's only opportunity this spring to see the middle sister Erin play in the double header today.

We drove on back to Marion to eat supper, so that we could meet up with our youngest daughter and husband and children--the Taylors from Lake Saint Louis--who had made a very hurried trip down to get their camper opened up for the summer up at Wayside Farm. They were invited to the tourney, but the kids wanted to hang out at the farm and do all the fun things they do there. In fact, Trent was ready to leave the restaurant as soon as possible to get back to the camper and light the campfire he had already built. We were too full to go along for the s'mores and goodies over the campfire. Besides I had already talked to Jeannie up in Freeport, and I was eager to get home and hear Miss Cecelie's phone message.

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