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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Little Lessons Learned

Back in the ‘90s (when we were living in Iowa), there used to be a line of very tiny dolls called Polly Pockets. Mattel still makes a 3-inch version, but they originally stood only one inch tall, and several of them “lived” inside a hinged doll-house case about the size of a bagel.

Our second daughter Kimberly (then five years old) had two different cases and ten of the little one-inch plastic dolls. One day, she was playing with them in the girls' upstairs room and then moved on to something else, leaving one of the houses open with five little figures inside.

Our little dog Corky found the open "house," chewed the little dolls, and spit them out on her bedspread. They weren’t completely destroyed—but close to it. They looked like tiny little extras from a model set for Night of the Living Dead.

When Kim found them, she cried and scolded her pup, but we assured her that Corky was just doing what dogs do and warned that she would simply have to be more careful to put her Polly Pockets away when she was finished with them.

A few weeks later, my mom and dad came from Michigan for Thanksgiving. Both sets of grandparents lived far away, so these visits were very special because the grandparents slept upstairs in the girls’ dormer room, and the two girls got to sleep on the hide-a-bed in the living room.

When my mother heard about “the attack of Corky,” she bought Kimberly a set of five little Polly Pockets to replace the five zombies. Kim and her grandmother played with them in the upstairs bedroom for quite a while until Grandma excused herself to help Julie with dinner. When dinner was served, Kim came downstairs to the dining room as Grandma went upstairs to freshen up.

Returning to the table, Grandma whispered something in Kim’s ear. Her eyes got big, and she whispered a weighty "Thank you," which prompted me to ask, “What’s all that about.”

My mom declined to say, but Kim explained with unguarded gratitude.

"I accidentally left my Polly Pockets out on the bed, but Grandma put 'em away before Corky chewed 'em up."

Sensing Mom’s desire to downplay the matter, I began a short "reminder" speech in the rote parental tones I’d learned so well from my folks: “Kim, what did we tell you about leaving those little Polly Pockets out?”

“Not to.” Her smile faded.

“That’s right. You know what happened last time... so you’d better just count your blessings.”

Her face looked more confused than contrite, so I repeated, “You’d better count your blessings and be thankful Grandma was looking out for you.”

The second time she seemed to get my point. Her smile returned, and Grandpa changed the subject by offering to say grace.

As we waited for dessert, Kim excused herself from the table with little notice. We were chatting over our cake and ice cream, when she climbed back in her chair.

“Good news,” She announced. We all stopped, forks frozen in midair. She was beaming from ear to ear.

“I counted my blessings, and they were all there!”
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2 Comments:

Blogger david rudd said...

polly pocket is still around. emma has many, although they have been somewhat replaced by "littlest pet shop"...

don't forget to vote

1/11/06 11:26 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Hi, Dave,
Yes, the new Polly is about three inches tall--I suspect Mattel thought the little ones were choke hazards--and they were! I checked out your new ad. More! More! It's time for an ad blitz before Tuesday. You know I will be voting.

1/11/06 8:48 PM  

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