When I was a little girl, going to my Grammy's house was one of my most favorite things to do. I would pack up my little red suitcase with my "jammies" and my toothbrush and head off to her house where we would make chocolate chip cookies and read books together.
With my brother in and out of the hospital throughout my childhood, I spent a lot of nights at her house as days at the hospital were long and boring for a young girl who couldn't really fathom what was all going on at the time. Memories with my Grammy though during those years are special and I will treasure them always.
As I grew older some of the things we did together changed a bit. She would take me shopping for a new outfit or take me somewhere to swim or ride horses. And some things remained the same, as we always made cookies or pie or homemade pizza. But one thing that we did together as I grew was look at the old paperdolls she had in a special trunk of things that belonged to her own mother.
They were kept in an old book.
A book from 1926 actually. An old magazine. In the pages of this magazine were old and antique paperdolls that her mother had kept and collected.
I can still remember going through those pages for the first time. Grammy instructed me how to be gentle with the old pages and how to pick up each paper doll with carefulness.
This doll was my favorite. She had the prettiest hair and the cutest outfits to put her in.
Page after page were little treasures to unlock. I would sometimes make up stories about each doll and where they were going in each outfit. I would dream about having a pretty dresses like the dolls had and I would imagine about how much fun I could have in a grand party dress and wonder what it would be like to carry a parasol every where I went. Grammy would listen to my stories and play with me. Those were moments I felt delighted in and enjoyed and loved. Oh to be a little girl again with my Grammy....
For my 30th birthday my Grammy asked me if there was anything she had of hers that I would like to have. And immediately my mind ran to the paperdolls. Oh to have them for always - that would be such a treasure to me.
The night of my 30th birthday I opened up a bag from my Grammy. After getting through the tissue paper inside, I uncovered the old book with the beautiful paperdolls. I began to cry and before I said anything, I actually smelled the book and then smiled. It smelt like my childhood days spent at Grammy's house. It smelt like chocolate chip cookies and story books and dress up. It smelt like laughter and tears and shopping trips to buy a new dress. It smelt like the sweet memories we had made together so long ago.
They may be just paper, but they may as well be priceless gems or expensive china. And I have found myself dreaming about what it would be like to share them with my daughter someday.
My Grammy didn't just give me paperdolls. She gave me memories of a time when we were best friends and when it felt good and lovely to just be a little girl.
I love you my sweet Grammy. And you will always be my very first best friend.