This post is part of a series of personal memories involving dollhouses. This story is written by the daughter of an immigrant family about how a small pink pastel dollhouse helped make her feel at home. If you would like your story featured, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the first toys I remember having was a plastic dollhouse. My parents had found it tossed to the curb, waiting for the morning trash pickup. It was two stories high, pastel yellow and pinks. My parents had been so excited to show it to me. My family lived in a one-bedroom apartment, with the dining room serving as my bedroom. The dollhouse was one of the few toys I had, but it immediately made the small space feel more like my own. My mom and I scrubbed it down until it looked brand new. We built furniture out of bottle caps and strips of paper. Later on, we upgraded our makeshift furniture with plastic miniatures my mom had bought at the grocery store.
As the child of an immigrant family, I made the most out of the little that we had growing up. My little plastic dollhouse was my own place where I could build a home and create stories that made my childhood heart happy. The dollhouse stood for everything my family hoped to attain: a beautiful home, a permanent place to call our own. Looking back on it now, I’d like to think that my dolls were all living the life I would later get to enjoy. Despite being thrown out by its previous owner, that dollhouse was a big part of my childhood growing up in the United States.
As I grew up, the inevitable happened. I started playing with dolls less and less. Even my younger sister was barely interested in the dollhouse. At that point, we had moved into a bigger place. There were so many other toys that caught her attention. The little plastic house didn’t seem so grand to us anymore. Once my mom noticed that we barely used it, she decided to donate it to make room for our growing toy collection. I remember feeling sad that the dollhouse wasn’t going to be mine anymore.
Now, I think about the way receiving the dollhouse made me feel. How the small action of someone taking out the trash affected my life and my childhood. I will never know where exactly the dollhouse ended up after we donated it. I’d like to think that another small action hopefully had an impact in someone else’s life. I hope someone else got the chance to love the pastel dollhouse the same way that I did. I hope they filled it with their own stories, hopes and dreams. Hopefully, their dreams will come true the way mine eventually did.
Florencia Cáceres is a recent graduate of the University of Houston with degrees in Creative Writing and Public Relations. She is passionate about world-building, high fantasy and sappy love poems. In the future, she hopes to finish her own novel.