The New Doll

When you grow up, you can be anything.

When you were a kid, did you parents ever give you a doll and expect you to play with it? And did you, a just turned seven-and-a-half-year-old, hold it in your hands and wonder just what the hell you supposed to do with it? They ask you what you’re going to name it and you say Bob the Builder and they say but this isn’t Bob the Builder and you say but girls can do anything boys can do and they say yes but a girl can’t be named Bob the Builder and so you say Maggie, which is the name of the three-legged cat that lived under your porch until animal control stole her. Thinking of Maggie makes you sad and you want to name the doll something else but your parents are already smiling and nodding and saying that’s a nice name so you take the doll upstairs to your bedroom and decide to make a house for it with your brother’s Legos and when you ask your brother if he wants to help he says no because dolls are for girls. At night, when your mother picks up the doll from the floor and tucks it in with you, she smiles- just like she does every Friday when she sees your perfect spelling tests and tells you that when you grow up, you can be anything.

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