Dolls, Dairies & Inheritances


I sold my American Girl doll yesterday.

Without going into too much detail, suffice to say, American Girl Dolls are kind of a big deal. I’d been holding on to mine all these years in case I ever had a daughter.

I did have that daughter. And she is beyond words more perfect than I could have ever imagined,even in my wildest dreams.

And so I sold the doll I’ve been saving for her. Totally makes sense. Right?

You see, I want to give her more than just a doll.

Growing up as a military brat we moved ALL.THE.TIME. I love how I was raised and believe wholeheartedly it made me who I am. My mom was amazing. The first day in our new house she would work all night, even after we’d gone to bed, to put our rooms together. Regardless of what new place we were living in we would wake up feeling like we were home, because we were surrounded by our things. We said goodbye to a lot of friends over the years but we always had our family and we always had our stuff. Those two constants were more than enough.

Gizmo won’t have that. We’ve put down roots here, on this land we’ve turned into a farm. She’ll never know what it’s like to be the new kid in school, to know no one, to have to make new friends over and over again. In a way I feel sad for her she won’t have that. I am who I am because of every new experience I was fortunate to encounter. But, for better or for worse, we’re raising her differently.

Over the years I’ve started my own detachment with “stuff.” We moved from a big oversized house in the suburbs to a small studio type cottage on the farm. There just wasn’t enough space for everything to come. Plus, I’m a little piglet and messes wear on Nick…if I have less things to keep tidy than our marriage is a much happier place. Amazingly, the more things I got rid of the easier and easier it became. And, as I’ve gotten rid of most of our things I’ve realized, it isn’t stuff that makes our house a home.

It’s the promise to sit down at the kitchen table at least four times a week and eat a meal (even if it’s cold cereal) together, to put down our phones and our computer and talk to each other…it’s the people in it.

My detachment with stuff has been valuable. Not just in the sense of my soul is richer because it’s uncluttered with things, but, seriously, turns out my stuff was worth some money.

The money from this American Girl doll will go to purchase another goat for the dairy. Yep, it’s come to that. We are trying so hard to stay out of debt to make the Farmstead Creamery happen I’m hawking my goods on craigslist. There are just so many expenses. And  everything costs SO MUCH MONEY. The other day I went to pull money out of the bank and my hand wouldn’t stop shaking as I signed the withdrawal slip.

I’ve always been a saver. From the time I was little I have saved my money. My mom likes to tell the story of me, as a little girl, loaning my older brother money and then charging him interest. Money in the bank makes me feel very secure.

But, debt makes me feel very insecure. And so, instead of going into debt, we’re touching our savings. And not just touching it…we’re manhandling it.

Every time I withdraw money I make a promise to myself to put that same money back in when the dairy starts making money. I’m not sure when that will be, and that’s mildly horrifying to me, but, it’s worth it. It has to be. What kind of role model would I be for my daughter if I didn't chase my dream because I was scared of failing?

So you could say that I sold Gizmo’s doll. Or you could say that I just made another, albeit tiny, investment in her inheritance.