The Last Naked Barbie lies on her side underneath the bookshelf in the bathroom, her head twisted at an angle that would be uncomfortable for a human. For months now, her eyes have been fixed on the same spot of wallpaper, and if I have anything to do with it, that will remain the case for the next many, many years.
She was left there sometime in the past by our dear daughter/grandchild Alicia Ann. Alicia is now half-way through with the fifth grade, and is now much more interested in styling her own hair than she is in arranging Barbie's tresses. So, she probably thinks nothing of the fact that Barbie occupies that particular space on the floor, where she is safe from being trodden upon.
May I insert in here: One would think that parents would learn after the FIRST child not to allow their children to own ANY toys with hard plastic corners? The innumerable times I have been jounced into full wakefulness by a Lego, toy truck, or some other implement of youthful delight and parental pain SHOULD have taught me a lesson. On the other hand, there are always doting uncles, aunts, and grandparents who stand ready to provide artificial foot-destroyers, so it's a moot point, really. Caltrops are a way of life when you have kids. Barbie has protuberances that not only would destroy a real woman's balance, but also destroy a real man's balance when he encounters them in the middle of the night.
But, Alicia is girl number six. My gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa , the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA, raised four girls; I raised one; and Alicia is a grand-daughter that we re raising together. The first little girl, Carmen, went off to kindergarten more than 30 years ago, and Alicia is only five months away from moving up to middle school. And for some reason, the last six grandchildren have been all boys. I don't see any new purchases of Barbies in our foreseeable future, although we do have at least four sets of married children who are capable of presenting us with a little girl.
I'm not making any bets on that, however. I don't want to be utterly maudlin about it; at least I won't have to explain to any more little girls how to make up a field-expedient sanitary napkin when she starts to bleed while Mom is at work. (That's kind of sad, too, though. Is that weird?)
At any rate.
Today is the last day of 2016. In 3 1/2 hours, the two-faced god Janus starts his month, and so I am in a mood to reflect as well as resolve.
And I resolve to reserve The Last Naked Barbie's place underneath the bookcase in my bathroom, to remind me of all the sweet butterfly kisses and bedtime stories I have shared with my little girls over the years.