Saturday, May 3, 2014

Reliving Childhood Memories From the Other Side

Hello everyone!

Just cuz my conscience wont let me get away with not plugging this, if you would like to join the Six Weeks to Summer Meltdown Challege (the winner's pool is over $15,000 and people are still signing up and adding to it!) please go to http://goo.gl/I8ZaEt.  If you want more information, please go to www.DiscoverHealthyHabits.com/6wks or my wacky video explaining things HERE

Now that THAT is done, I'll move on to other goings-on!

My mom had been planning a reveal of my childhood dollhouse for awhile.  It had been wrapped up for 28 years and moved to 3 different residences.  We had no idea what it would look like when we unraveled it.  It could be a new habitat for creepy crawlies, nope nopes or critters.  I envisioned little chipmunks sitting at a table having nut soup and looking surprised as their cover is blown.

Some things are just meant to last.  Pretty much everything my mom owns seems to last.  She takes very good care of things, especially if they are sentimental.  And I was very happy to see that the dollhouse fell in that category.  It was perfect.

I kind of remember getting the dollhouse.  I was pretty young and it was a strange situation.  I knew that my parents were building something, and I was pretty sure it was for me, but no one was talking.  They were just....building.  No explanation.  And apparently one of my flaws is that you can do shit in front of me and I don't notice much.

Allie was really excited about the dollhouse. We started telling her about it days ahead of time and every day that passed she got more and more excited.  On April 26th, she practically burst out of the front door to "get to Nana's"for the moment.  It meant a lot to me that she was so excited and I was pretty psyched about what I was going to see too.


There were paper bundles stuffed in the rooms of the dollhouse and as we pulled them out, Mom informed me that the movers who took us from Pittsburgh to NY had done that.  They even packed the dollhouse furniture.  Hmmph!  I was pretty impressed.  We took all of the bundles into the livingroom and unwrapped them.


There were lots of little pieces of furniture.  Some of them were purchased but quite a few were made by my parents.  See the green picnic table on the right?  I remember my father gluing that together and being a little frustrated.  I watched him glue it and then set it down carefully.  Typical kid, of course I had to touch it and KABLOOEY.... It fell apart.

It would be an understatement to say that he was pissed.  My father almost never got angry and yelled at me.  I remember thinking "I better get outta here." That was the only "not so happy" memory I have of the dollhouse.  Now, I'm thinking about all of the things Justin "uses adhesive" on that Allie is dying to touch.  So often we have asked, "Why do you have to touch that?!  Don't touch it!"  Now I get it, Dad.

My father glued every shingle onto the roof.  That's what he was probably doing right before I jacked up his mini picnic table.  He was probably borderline insane at that point from the glue smell and making every shingle perfect.


So, how appropriate was this photo?  Justin was gluing the little tidbits that had come apart along the way.  He, however, looks quite calm.  (It's probably cuz he's slightly boogered up from all of the pain meds)  I looked over and saw Allie's father gluing dollhouse furniture together in front of a fireplace, just like my own father did 35+ years ago.  It was a coincidence that got me a little choked up.


Allie made up all of the doll beds and I watched, thinking about how my mom made every bedspread and throw pillow.  She made the couch too.  She also carpeted and wallpapered each room.  (Mom doesn't do anything half-assed.)  I asked her, "How in the hell did you do all of this small stuff and not go crazy?"


Her answer was, "We just picked a scale and built everything from there."  She even remembered how many feet an inch represented in the construction design.  It was really interesting to hear about the making of everything because NOW I can appreciate all of the details.  To a child, it's just "let me make this doll bed".  To an adult, it's more like "I had to measure and cut the fabric and then make sure that it fit and looked realistic...."  

Never one to settle for the average, my father also put electric in the house.  Oh yes.  Electricity.  Every room had a lightbulb in it and there was one in the mini fireplace too.  Under the dollhouse was a box with a toggle switch on it.  There was battery inside that turned the lights on and off.  This is the one thing that wasn't working, so now Justin will be working on the dollhouse as well.  He's like the dollhouse maintenance guy.  As always, Allie loves to be involved in all projects.... especially ones that involve troubleshooting.  


This was a really fun and emotional experience.  I love that my mom had us do this all together and that I got to pick her brain about when she and my dad created it.  I love that Justin will have a hand in the furniture and certain house parts being functional in certain ways too.  I love that Allie is crazy about it.  Her first words out of her mouth the following morning were, "Can we go to Nana and PopPop's to play with the dollhouse?  Now?"

What makes me a little sad is that my father isn't around to see this....


He didn't get to have this awesome experience that Mom and I had.  It would've been fun to get some of his stories about it too.   It would've been fun for him to actually know Allie, but I guess that just wasn't part of the plan.

So, I'm using this blog to share the experience with you and to thank my mother for:

  • Not losing her shit (Justin's term for "going insane") while measuring and gluing and sewing all of this little teeny tiny stuff when they made the dollhouse for me
  • Taking time many decades ago to create something that brought me (and my playmates) so much fun and happiness for many years.  
  • Keeping it so carefully preserved and clean (and critter free!), all while carting that house around for over three decades and through three moves
  • Realizing that opening it for Allie would be a special moment for us all
  • For playing with the dollhouse and Allie every time she's there.  I'm sure it will be expected to continue for a very long time!
  • and last, but certainly not least, for being a thoughtful, loving mother who always found a way to make my life better and make me feel special (even when I was being "naughtily special" and probably deserved a kick in the ass).  The dollhouse is a good representation of that.  Hopefully one day Allie and I will have the chance to experience this with her daughter.  I'm so grateful.  I love you, Mom.
Wishing you all a dollhouse-kinda moment,

Vicki

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