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started asking for a “BeForever” doll – the historical dolls that are based on a certain time period and have a series of books. I thought she might still be a little young for them, but she and I agreed on a plan: if she would read all of the books about a specific girl, then I would get her that doll for Christmas. Haylee was a strong reader for her age, so I knew she could handle it, and I figured that if she was willing to dedicate herself to reading six books, then she could be trusted to take care of an expensive doll.

Parent to Parent Almost immediately after my older daughter, Hanna, who was almost nine at the time, received an American Girl doll for Christmas, catalogs started regularly arriving in the mail at our house. My younger daughter, Haylee, who was five, was immediately captivated and started asking for an American Girl doll for herself. We got her one of the babies geared toward younger girls, and she loved it but still wanted a “real” American Girl doll. When she was seven, Haylee

“ Haylee was a strong

reader for her age, so I knew she could handle it

Well, she rose to the challenge, and since basketball was her favorite sport, she selected Julie, the 1970s era doll who stands up for the right to play basketball even though her school doesn’t have a girls’ team. Haylee finished reading the last book on Christmas Eve, and Julie has joined Winnie the Pooh as one of her best pals ever since. Haylee still continues to scour each and every catalog, and pretty much knows every girl’s story and every single item that American Girl sells. And whenever she has spending money, it either goes toward

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something Disneyrelated, or something American Girl-related. This year, she decided she wanted to get the “Girl of the Year,” Gabriela, a dancer and poet who uses her art forms to overcome a stuttering problem and help save her mother’s studio. She initially planned to save up her money for it, but a few months ago, she came to me and asked, “If I read the Gabriela books, could I have the doll for my birthday?” Well, again, I decided if she was willing to put in the effort, I could let her pick her own birthday present. So now, after her birthday last month, Haylee and Julie have a new friend to hang out with. And after a trip to the American Girl store in Orlando with the birthday money that extended family sent, the three of them also have some cool new outfits, accessories, and a very long wish list! Until next time,

Jennifer

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July 2017 • 7

Gulf Coast Family - July 2017  

Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family...

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