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Always an American Girl

When I was 9 years old, I received my first American Girl doll.

Kirsten, the Swedish pioneer girl who has since been discontinued, and who still holds a special place in my now-grown-up heart, especially as I watch my daughter play with her. I still have her book series, and I cannot wait for the day we can read them together.

Madelyn was so excited when I showed her my small collection, and told her she could play with Kirsten.

One day, I took a closer look at everything. This tag caught me off guard:

Communism was alive and well when I was growing up, though now its understanding is with a heavy heart. Made in West Germany … the Berlin Wall still divided a nation while I was playing with my doll. It was a crazy thing to consider.
This was also back when American Girl was the creation of a small Wisconsin business known as The Pleasant Company. Located near Madison, my mother and family friend would load the kids into a conversion van to the State Capital, where we would wait as perfectly well-behaved angels (ha!) while our parents shopped. The treasures! The memories! Within a few years, Mattel purchased The Pleasant Company and American Girl exploded into the empire it is today.
But now, as I share my doll with my own daughter, I think the original intent of The Pleasant Company remains intact. Their aim was to empower girls, and it’s given my daughter and I a fun piece of common ground. I know I’m likely waxing poetic about something simple, but for me – I feel like life has come full circle and it makes me happy to watch her love something I once did.

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