After awhile about maybe six months ago I noticed the ponies weren't coming out as often. Anna had moved on to Barbies and even more often, craft projects of all kinds. While I knew this was just part of life, I couldn't help but feel a little sad. I thought about the Velveteen Rabbit, and Toy Story 2. There was a part in that movie that made both Dan and I cry...when the little girl grows up and her toys get shoved and forgotten under the bed, gathering dust.
On Sunday I asked Anna if she was done playing with ponies, and she said yes, so I packed them in a plastic container but didn't pack them away. The girl is only almost six, after all, and famously fickle, as all six-year-olds can be. Still, I packed up the ponies with a heavy heart, a hundred moments over the past three years passing through my mind -- the ponies adorned with ribbons and jewelry; traveling with us on vacation; outside on the swingset. I could see Anna in her curls and sweet little voice making them talk. I managed not to shed a tear, because I know there will be many more moments like this.
But this morning Anna asked where her ponies were. "Why?" I asked. "Because I want to play with them," she replied. The next thing I knew, in the 10 minutes before school she had taken them all out and put them in a very long straight line near the front door, waiting for her return. Just like the "old" days.
"Bye ponies!" she called as we headed out for school. I smiled inside, glad to have a little more time before my girl barrels toward growing up.