When I saw the doll I had to buy it. The doll reminded me of, Kathy, my favorite doll when I was a little girl. When Sofi, my granddaughter, opened the doll her eyes shined with joy. She named the doll Amber.
I don’t see my daughter and her family often because they live in Italy. It was nice to think of Sofi playing with the doll I had given to her.
Recently I was in Italy helping my son-in-law, Giacomo, with the children while my daughter was away on a business trip. The day after I arrived Sofi asked me to take her to Adalina’s house, her friend who lives up the road in the small village of Paterno.
Adalina and her family live in a small apartment with a patio overlooking the hills of Tuscany. Communicating with Adalina’s mother was difficult. She spoke only Romanian and I, only English. Fortunately Adalina spoke Romanian and Italian and Sofi spoke Italian and English. So every time we wanted to say something we had to go through two five year old girls who were more interested in playing than being translators. It took about ten minutes of effort before I understood Adalina’s mother wanted me to go inside and have some bread. It was a small one room apartment with a stove, refrigerator, sink, a table, three chairs, and a couch. The room where we sat was not only kitchen, living and dinning room but also a bedroom for Adalina and her mother and father. Toys were scattered about and on top of the couch was Amber.
My heart sank. Sofi explained she had given Amber to Adalina. Although I realized Adalina had far less toys than Sofi, I felt hurt.
One morning Giacomo told me Sofi needed a castanet, a long red skirt and a bright colored blouse for her school program. It was a fun challenge shopping for them. After great perseverance I located what I needed. I could imagine Sofi in the gypsy outfit I purchased for her. I would be gone before the performance but she would be wearing what I had selected. At breakfast the next morning I suggested to Giacomo a way he could fix Sofi’s hair to look nice with her costume. Giacomo said “Oh, those things aren’t for Sofi. Every child is to buy something for someone else to wear in the performance.”
Once again I was disappointed. What I had purchased for Sofi was again going to someone else. Giacomo explained the schools try to teach children to care more about other children than their possessions.
Life’s lessons can slip quietly by. I’ve learned from my granddaughter and now believe that sharing is more important than possessing and to give a gift is to let it go. I want my grandchildren to think of me for the love I feel for them and not the gifts I give to them.
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