I sold her adorable white wicker chairs and table, the beauti-ful hand-painted china. I sold the fake little tea party snacks that looked so real I wanted to eat them. I sold every last piece I had stored for years—just so I could buy my husband a surprise Christmas present with-out the price appearing on our credit card bill.
Now I don’t even remember what I bought him. But I do remember the early December morning when I said good-bye to “Samantha.”
My husband, Mark, had purchased this American Girl doll and her birthday collection at a fund-raising auction. It seemed a bit extravagant, since we had three small boys and no girl in sight. But that didn’t seem to matter once he brought Samantha home.
My mom and I gleefully set up her chairs and table in my dining room. We displayed the plates and glasses just so. We fussed over Samantha’s hair and smoothed the wrinkles from her dress. We giggled like schoolgirls before we packed it all up. Then I hid the doll in a back closet, beyond the reach of prying toddler hands.
Mother of Boys. Two years later, after my doctor confirmed that…
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