It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you can live as you wish. Mother Teresa
Andrea from The Train to Crazy recently shared the above quote. She asked what it meant to us. I had responded "Reminds me of the moral bankruptcy with which I can be so comfortable with if I am not careful."
Yesterday, I was not so comfortable.
I am not sure if you are familiar with American Girl Dolls. The original concept was actually a pretty good one. Dolls for girls that related to specific periods of history and come with story books that share that history. However, if you've stepped inside an American Girl store, you know that the concept has moved well beyond the original idea.
The prices for the dolls and accessories are beyond ridiculous. You pay more for a costume for a doll than I would pay for clothing to put my own children.
Why do I allow my daughters to own American Girl Dolls? Why do I support it if I don't like it?. I don't. At least not personally, I am only complicit.
My mother-in-law has paid for every single last bit of American Girl stuff my daughters own.
That doesn't make me feel less guilty and angry. Every time I step into an American Girl store, I am appalled by how much money people are spending on an inanimate object.I am distressed by the fact that none of the children in the store seem happy. They are all whining, complaining or throwing tantrums (including my own little angels).
The worst part is that the amount spent in the store in one hour by one customer for the sake of one doll is often enough to support a Compassion child for a year. A doll - a child. It shouldn't be a hard choice.
I want to say something to my in-laws. But I am afraid that my relationship with them isn't the best. I have reached the point of biting my tongue and smiling so that something like peace exists in our family.
I did pull my eldest child to the side yesterday and told her that what her grandparent's spent in the store yesterday would nearly support both our Compassion girls for a year. I pointed out to her that Lavinia and Yuleidy are real living breathing people and the dolls are just dolls. I told her it wasn't so much that I didn't want her to have the gifts from Grammy so much as I wanted her to realize what was really important. In the scope of eternity, dolls are nothing.
Did I do enough? I don't know. But peace with my husband, children, and in-laws seems an objective worth pursuing for their sakes if not my own. But it doesn't make yesterday any less nauseating to me (yes, it did make me sick to my stomach).
For the record, my in-laws arrived on the 22nd and will be her until the 6th.