When my oldest daughter was a baby, our first American Girl Doll catalog arrived. Back then they were Pleasant Company. The dolls and their stories sprung from a vision of Rowland Pleasant. As soon as I saw that catalog, which at the time only showcased five dolls, I wanted to be Rowland Pleasant.
Since I was a child I have miniaturized life through the creation of dolls, their clothes and accessories. Her vision sparkled with charm and a freshness that I imagined captured what a real doll should be. They looked like dolls that would be treasured and passed down to daughters and granddaughters. Of course, I bought one for my daughter, well before she was close to the suggested age.
By the time my youngest was old enough for one of these dolls, I no longer felt this way. Although I am still charmed by the miniaturization of life that bubbles out of American Girl catalogs, the dolls and their accessories are everywhere--boxes and boxes of them in playrooms, basements and yard sales.
Not all girls play with dolls. But those who do, I am fairly certain, want a doll that has an essence that speaks to them and provokes their imagination. A doll that is somewhat unique. She has enough, but, not everything. Dolls whose sweet classic (yet simple) features will span decades and will always evoke the cherished feeling of childhood play.
I will never be Rowland Pleasant.
However, I am hoping my dolls and their wardrobes will spark such feelings.