Best gift ever

I’m dreaming of a Barbie Christmas

I only wanted one thing for my 10th birthday: a giant, pink, two-story Barbie Dream House. You know, the one with the elevator. I thought I had this gift in the bag even though my mother had informed me I wouldn’t be getting one—it was too expensive and I already had too much Barbie swag.

I didn’t believe her. She’d said that about the Barbie Silver Vette Corvette, too, but bought it for me anyway. When my birthday rolled around and there was no Dream House, I didn’t worry. Christmas was just two days later. Surely I’d find it under the tree then.

But, again—no. Mom stuck to her word, dashing my dreams of owning Barbie property. Her cruelty stunned me; there may have been tears. Somehow, I managed to get over this crippling act of neglect. My mother didn’t.

Fast-forward 20 years to an older, wiser Christmas season, when I came home on the night of my 30th birthday to find a giant, pink Barbie Dream House on the dining-room table. At first I thought someone had broken into our house, but, as my husband helpfully pointed out, burglars usually take items of value. They don’t leave behind decades-old toys.

I examined the house—it had the elevator!—and realized my mother was finally making up for that long-ago deprivation. I may have outgrown my Barbie obsession, but she’d never outgrown my childhood disappointment. It was a small gesture, but the big love that went into it made that Dream House a sweet and priceless reality.