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Name: Linda

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Saturday, September 08, 2007
When I Was A Young Girl....



I hope I don’t step on any toes with this post, but there is something that has been bothering me so I thought I would see what you think. There was a little human interest story on our local news the other evening. A stay-at-home Dad has opened a new business named for his twelve year old daughter. It is a spa for young girls. For now, the father said, they are just doing the “outward” things, but he plans to do things to nurture the inner being as well. He doesn’t want the focus to be only on appearance. They plan to offer classes (I’m not sure what those will be – but I am still not happy.)

They showed the inside of this beautifully decorated spa filled with little girls getting manicures and pedicures. They all said how much they loved it. They were all so excited to have this great place – and I felt so sad.

I was born in 1946 which didn’t seem like such a ridiculously ancient number at one time. I grew up in the fifties, and when I was twelve years old I was still playing with dolls. My sister is four years younger than I am so perhaps that explains it. Or perhaps I was just very immature. I just know I loved being a little girl.

I was thinking back last night about the things I loved to do when I was a little girl. We played with our dolls for hours on end. My Mom, who is an excellent seamstress, made incredible wardrobes for them. We had Tiny Tears dolls that looked so much like real babies. We also had Ginny Dolls – that was before Barbie made her voluptuous appearance. She sewed tiny little dresses for them as well.

We also played with paper dolls. In addition to all the clothes they came with, we used to cut things out of old catalogs to furnish their homes and accessorize their wardrobes. They were great fun until their cardboard necks got bent and then we were ready for someone new.

We lived in a small sub-division (we called it a development back then) and there was always someone there to play with. One day one of our girlfriends came over with a bunch of beautiful old gowns her mother had given her. We played dress-up with those gowns for weeks.

We rode our bikes all over the neighborhood, swam in little wading pools and swung on the swings my Dad made for us until we were dizzy. We pretended to be the characters we saw in the movies and made up stories that continued day after long summer day.

We were blissfully unaware that we weren’t as thin as models, that we probably didn’t have the latest fashions or that we didn’t have the most alluring “do”. Of course all of those things eventually did become important, but not for a long time.

I felt sad watching those little girls because childhood is so brief, and we can never go back once those years have passed. I hope it was just one of those atypical things the news likes to report. I hope little girls are still allowed to be little girls.

The closing shot of the news story was of the owner’s little girl spinning around in one of the spa chairs. That, I thought, is more like it.

Blessings,
 
  posted at 9:59 AM
  21 comments



21 Comments:
At 12:37 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

AMEN Linda! Those little girls need to be outside building pretend playhouses, playing with dolls, or reading great books! So sad, and I bet that dad just doesn't get it along with all of the parents that sent their little girls to the spa or is he just after the buck not caring about the image he is promoting! Thanks for sharing. He is on my prayer list.

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Diane J. said...

For what it's worth, I agree with you, Linda. I believe our children are losing their innocence much earlier than we did, both physically and spiritually, for lack of a better descriptive term.

Satan has really used the mediums of advertising in books, magazines, television and clothing, not mention peer pressure, to influence our society.

I know this is all more signs of the end times, but we as Christians are called to be God's light in the spiritual darkness. We are supposed to uphold God's biblical morals for our conduct, dress and morals in sinful world. There's supposed to be a difference between Christians and the sinful world, and I'm afraid the lines that God has clearly drawn are being muddied by worldly Christians.

Even though as Christians we have to live in this sinful world, we can and should live and appear different from the rest of the world because of Jesus who lives in us.

Excellent post, Linda. :-)

Hope you have a great weekend and a blessed Sunday.

Love and hugs,

Diane

 
At 12:55 PM, Blogger Kelli said...

Loved the post, Linda. And agree (even though in the 6th grade was out building forts with sticks and making dirt garages for my hot wheels. It was a phase). We strive to have to kids outside riding bikes and running in the dirt rather than doing video games and such. I mean, wew've had our moments, too. But, it does become harder as parents to not let that stuff in. We work hard against it. We try to foster their imaginations, and sometimes we win the battle.

Thanks for reminding us. I know I need it every once in awhile. Well, more than not.

 
At 2:33 PM, Blogger Heather said...

Oh I am so thrilled that I get to stay home with my little girls and that they still love playing with dolls (we have quite a collection of other's cast off Cabbage Patch dolls not to mention Only Hearts Club --with a few Barbies thrown in). With no tv and plenty of free time they run and play and use their imagination in much the same way I did when I was a kid. Praise the Lord. It is so sad these little girls turned into women too young and missing much of what childhood is about--and likely becoming grown women who have never really grown up because they never had a chance to be little girls. They ride bikes and visit our neighbors (all elderly who love to foster childhood as they remember it instead of as their grandkids have it.)

 
At 4:45 PM, Blogger Linds said...

I was also playing with dolls at 12, Linda. And buidling tree houses, having clubs with friends in old playhouses in the gardens, playing tennis in the driveways and outside most of the time. My grandmother made my dolls their clothes, and I STILL have my dolls now! (In the loft somewhere)

I tried to bring my daughter up in a similar way, and my sons as well. They had a carefree, happy, outdoor childhood, and I am so thankful for that. You are right that childhood is so short.

 
At 8:02 PM, Blogger PEA said...

When I see how young girls act today and what they play with, etc, it just makes me SO glad that I was born in the late 50's and could enjoy the simple playtimes from back then. I so agree with you, it's very sad to see that now young girls need SPAS??? It's bad enough that computer games and such keep a child inside instead of enjoying LIFE!! xox

 
At 9:30 PM, Blogger ornery's wife said...

Hi! I am new to the Christian Women's Blogroll, and was scrolling through some of the listed blogs. Yours caught my eye, as I, too, am an empty-nester.

Thank you for this post. I agree it is a sad thing that these little girls are so "into" adult things. In Tulsa there are at least two such places, and apparently they are always booked way in advance. Before they opened, I used to have my nails done at a regular nail salon (as opposed to one that caters to children) and they often held parties with several little girls getting pedicures and manicures. I was appalled then, for one thing that parents would spend so much money to do that sort of party, and for another that they would encourage such an adult type of activity in little girls!

Don't you wonder what sorts of things will be left for them to experience in high school? Tatoo parties? Plastic surgery? Help us! :-)

 
At 9:46 PM, Blogger Tammy said...

Oh, Linda...this post touched me so much. As you know, I have two little girls, and I want so much for them to stay little girls while they still are!
I completely agree...childhood is so brief, and although I don't suppose there's anything wrong with pretending to make yourself up as a lark- after all, little girls like to play dress-up, there is a fine line with encouraging them to become grown-up before their time.

This made me think of the current big thing in our house...my oldest, especially, loves High School Musical, and I love it to...it's unusually wholesome by today's standards, with fun songs, ect...But I do admit, I have had some questions in my mind and heart about being careful not to focus too much on this...because, they are NOT teenagers.
Interesting how this movie and all the products now out are geared toward my eight year old's age.When we watched the live concert on TV, most of the audience was made up of little girls and their moms!
I actually do remember teeny-bopper things being advertised towards kids when I was her age...The Partridge Family lunch pails and The Jackson Five cartoon show...
But just because this happened even in my generation doesn't necessarily make it a good thing.
The movie (HSM) is an innocent fun thing, but only if it doesn't detract from the wonderful little girl age that they are now.

Thankfully, the girls both took their dolls into the play tent outside with all their dishes and spent almost all of today in there...I loved watching them do this!

Wonderful post, Linda. As you can see by my long, rambling reply, this was really thought-provoking and I so agree...children need to be children!

 
At 10:47 PM, Blogger Chappyswife said...

Linda, I, too, wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but this seems sad to me, too. Our children are growing up too fast. My oldest is pressing me for a cell phone, but he is only 14, and he obviously doesn't need one!

I loved the way that we grew up, and I loved reminiscing with you and being reminded of the fun, simple things we used to do, although I didn't play with dolls too much. I played with trucks and cars and my cousin (a boy) played with my dolls. Yes, we're both normal. We just liked to play with each other's toys.

I so want my boys to grow up like that and experience what we did, but the world is completely different now, and it just breaks my heart. We loved making mud pies. I don't think my little ones have ever done that, and that's got to be my fault. It's a hard pill to swallow.

I love the technology we have today, but it is really robbing us in so many areas of our lives. This reminds me in a roundabout way of the post I just did on a trilogy by Teri Blackstock. It really makes me think.

 
At 11:04 PM, Blogger Susie said...

Hi Linda,
I agree with you 100% on this one. I just been reading the posts you made that I missed. Hope you're feeling much better?
Congrats on your award from Tammy... Also I'll keep your daughter in prayer for her safe travel.
I've missed you!
hugs!!

 
At 11:16 PM, Blogger Chappyswife said...

I wanted to add but forgot to, that what I find sad in this is that it is a spa, where I am sure parents pay for a good price for their daughters to be pampered. I know that some mothers have little parties for their daughters at home where they do some of the pampering activities, and that seems so much more innocent to me.

I mean, we loved painting our fingernails and toenails and playing with makeup when we had friends spend the night. I think that is different than going to a spa like adults. Just my opinion.

 
At 3:54 AM, Blogger Lee-ann said...

Linda, I am very much with you on this one!

Little girls are made to grow up way too fast these days and it is so sad to see them doing so.

I am sorry but I see another danger with this spa as well, we hear so much talk these days sadly about little children being taken advantge of and it is a horror I cannot even think about, not saying this is leading to that but we all need to be aware.

What is wrong that a couple of little girls don't think building a little house out of boxes out the back and reading stories to each other is not the "cool" fun it is or was!! :)

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

Amen, Amen, Amen!! Your life and mine sounds like we lived in the same world. We could have been such good buddies!!

This is so sad. I can't even imagine it. I also can't imagine someone sending their little girls to a place run by the dad! Kinda scary.

Well, I can't even fathom this whole concept. I played till dolls at least that long, if I recall. My sis and I practiced at being mommies for years!

Innocence lost so young. So sad.

 
At 4:21 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

I hear you! I read an article in a magazine, or newspaper...last year or the year before about this new trend. The trend to cater to younger girls with pampering parties etc. I was amazed at the young ages these girls were having pamper parties! I don't see anything wrong w/little girls playing pretend w/dress up clothes and pretend make-up etc, but to go all out on these parties? and the amount these parents were spending! My goodness! It is a sad trend indeed!

 
At 7:15 PM, Blogger Myrna said...

I agree! But before I finish my comment I just have to tell you that 1946 is not ancient yet--At least that's what I'm counting on!

Now--back to the little girls. I did not raise daughters, but I have a granddaughter and I would like to see her be a little girl as long as possible. I buy her BABY dolls! I'm sure Barbi will come soon enough.

Going to the SPA is so over the top for little girls! I remember some third grade girls in one of my classes who had a "special day" at a spa-like place for hair and nails and then had a limousine take them to a concert. I wondered what those parents planned to do when the girls got older. They still had to get through the prom and wedding!

 
At 7:45 AM, Blogger Alice said...

I have a question to start with - What actually is a spa? When I think of a spa, I think of a hot-tub; you know, a tub with hot, bubbling water. But I don't think that's what you mean, is it?

Times have certainly changed since we were children in the 40s and 50s, and not always for the better. Sadly there are more dangers in society that children have to be warned to look out for, but apart from that, the media encourages children to want to try things at a much earlier age, often when they are still too young to understand the consequences.

Children need those years of innocent play and development in order to learn about life GRADUALLY - not know it all by the age of 10.

Although, it is somewhat ironic that we think of the 'normal' play toy for girls as being dolls. Some may suggest that this is a desire to be mothers whilst still a child, but maybe it's really following a natural instinct.

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger Susie said...

Linda, what a great post! I do have little girls that are still little girls. Even though my 13 yr.old is in 8th grade, she still plays dolls with my 7 yr.old. They also play dress up, barbies, and make up plays and dances. It is something I love, but I know that they do not fit in with the norm. That is sad to me, because my 13 yr. old sticks out like a sore thumb with peers her own age. She is a beautiful girl, but not interested in dating and partying. Can you believe that they even start that this young? I know that God has given her a select few friends that she can share life with and I'm thankful for that. I just wish girls like her were the norm.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger Cyndi said...

Amen, Linda. God has given us such grace in this area, I suppose, because my daughter is "blissfully unaware" of many things that seem to plague today's teenagers. I pray daily for the insight and discernment to guide her into things in a timely manner.

It's like the Corrie ten Boom story about her asking her father something she wasn't ready for. His response was to ask her to pick up a heavy trunk. She responded that she couldn't, for it was too heavy for her. He told her that the answer to her question was too heavy for her as well.

I fear that in rushing our kids to grow up too fast, they are being forced to "carry things" and grapple with issues too heavy for them. It will have its consequences, I'm afraid.

Great post!!

 
At 5:55 PM, Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

Such wisdom in this post Linda. Thank you for posting it. I too remember being at home (never watching TV) but outside with the neighborhood friends.

Spa was not even a word I knew then (or cell phone, or text messaging, etc..).

This makes me sad too.

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger tonia said...

I agree with you! Children should be children, not mini-adults.

So sad.

 
At 7:02 PM, Blogger Barb @ A Chelsea Morning said...

You and I were born four years apart, Linda, so I remember the Tiny Tears doll and especially the paper dolls and making my own from the ladies in the catalog.

This story sounds like a fluke. It's really ridiculous. I sure hope it's just a fluke.

 

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