I'm her mommy

Once upon a time the girls, their grandmother, their aunt, and I loaded up and braved The Store that causes fear and panic in the wallets of daddies everywhere: American Girl.

Part of the girls' Christmas gifts from grandparents, we went all out. Lunch reservations with special seats for their dolls, adorable desserts, lines 30-people deep waiting to get their dolls' hair done or ears pierced.

I repeat, their dolls' hair done or ears pierced. People pay for this. And they wait in very long lines to pay for this.

Madness, I tell you.

It was right after Christmas, so of course the place was packed. There were little clusters of girls and their families everywhere. A few brave daddies were waiting in the perimeter holding bags or purses or coats and, I'm confident, feeling nauseous over the amount of money being spent on their daughters' baby dolls.

As for us, we were completely caught up in finding the perfect beds, toys, accessories, stroller, earrings, hiking outfit, pets, etc. for our girls' dolls. We flitted and squeezed and pardoned our way across the store from one end to the other and back again. Keeping up with Sassafras, Pearl, and Sweet Love's stroller plus all the junk we were acquiring was rowdy at times.

As we were navigating back across the room to one of the umpteen potty trips (by the way, every stall at this place has a special doll rack so that girls can hang their baby dolls while they use the bathroom...yes, seriously), suddenly one of the workers started to grab Pearl's hand and said "Let's find your mommy, sweetheart." I was completely confused until I realized oh yeah, her skin is different. One tiny brown girl in the middle of five pink girls led this person to assume that Pearl didn't belong to us.

"I'm her mommy," I told her. And she was horrified at her mistake. We consoled her and had a little chuckle. As we were rolling away, I said this wasn't the first or the last time this would happen to us, and that this is one of the reasons I always coordinate the girls' clothing. Well, that, and the fact that they are positively adorable when they coordinate.

But I also couldn't help but think, ask her. Ask Pearl if she belongs to us. Two years ago she wouldn't know this, but now? Now she would crawl behind one of us as her safe place and look at you like you're nuts if you dared question her status in our family.

It didn't come easily and definitely took some time, but our Pearl truly does really know not only that I am her mommy, but that we are her people.