Sunday, September 28, 2014

Too Cool For Barbie? #Barbieproject

I can not believe it's been almost six months since we started the Barbie Project. When I look back over my blogs for this project, I am amazed at how much my daughters have grown and how quickly they are changing. When we started they were wrapping up their 4th and 10th grade school year. Now Kennedy is getting settled into her last year of elementary school (where are my tissues) and her big sister, Kayla, is only a few short years away from graduating and going to college..OMG!! 

Looking back over the project so far I have truly enjoyed watching Kennedy's playtime and seeing the amazing adventures that she experiences with Barbie. I have also been surprised to see her big sister's involvement and secret joy that she has found playing with Barbie again through this project.   Recently Kayla came up with the idea to recreate the iconic Rosie The Riveter "We Can Do It" Poster with Barbie. Empowering women and girls is my passion, and my girls have grown up with constant girl power messages. Sometimes I think that it goes in one ear and out the other but I am learning that they are really listening and hopefully I am doing something right!  I was so excited to share their spin on this iconic poster during our Barbie Tumbler Takeover week!  It was so cool to be Editorial Director for Barbie's official Tumblr page for a week through this project! Barbie's Tumblr fans loved this post (view here), just a little dose of empowerment for Ms. Barbie!


As I have mentioned over the last few months, I am truly seeing my daughters grow up before my eyes. I see how Kennedy's playtime is slowly changing and maturing with her.  A few weeks ago, I heard Kennedy busy playing with Barbie. She was talking and giggling and I heard another voice in the room. I walked in and asked Kennedy who she was talking to. She was in her room and Barbie dolls were everywhere!  She had our Ipad in the middle of everything and her friend was smiling through the screen also surrounded by Barbies and waving "Hi Mrs. Kara". She was face-timing with her friend and they were busy playing with their Barbie dolls together..well not together but in their own bedrooms miles apart. Wait..what??? Playtime is REALLY changing!!

I was cooking dinner recently and overheard this conversation:

Big Sister: "So Kennedy, it's probably time for you to stop playing with Barbie don't you think?"

Kennedy: (looking shocked) "No, why do you say that???"

Big Sister: Well you are in the 5th grade, I think I was in the 5th grade when I stopped playing with Barbie. You are getting too old to play with them.  If you stop playing with Barbie, think about what you could do with the space in your room instead of having Barbie stuff everywhere.

I saw the look on Kennedy's face, she adores her big sister and she didn't know what to say. I stepped in and told Kennedy that she could play with Barbie as long as she would like to and that their was no time limit, it was up to her. I shot her big sister aka Barbie Police a look which she ignored.

The conversation shifted to something else and I went back to cooking. In that moment, I had only imagined Kennedy as a little girl who played with Barbie, not a soon to be tween who would be too cool to play with Barbie.  The thought of her packing up her Barbie dolls and toys one day made me so sad.  I think because of this project I have paid more attention to the creativity and joy that comes out of her playtime, this was especially hard to imagine. I honestly don't remember when her big sister made that transition.  All I know is one day she was playing with Barbie and now she is talking about being asked to go to homecoming dances and asking me to drive every five minutes...boohoo, where is the pause button to stop time?

I talked to Kennedy some more later that evening and asked how she felt about her sister's conversation about Barbie. She said it made her sad because she really enjoys playing with Barbie. She said that she only has a few friends that still play with them, but overall she is embarrassed sometimes. I told her that she should enjoy this special time and to do what makes HER happy not everyone else. She looked so relieved and had a big smile on her face. She hugged me and said thank you and told me that she would NEVER stop playing with Barbie!  If only that were true!! I know one day she will probably think that she is too cool for playtime like her sister but for today I will enjoy and cherish these special moments that she is experiencing and continue to watch her grow.

I was looking back through the pictures that I have captured so far during this project and the sheer joy that I see when she plays makes me so happy. I encourage all the moms and dads out there to make time to play with your children while you can, it goes by so fast!!!

Love seeing her smile, her creative, brilliant spirit and imagination!
Love when she cracks herself up during playtime!
Love seeing what her big sister does during her playtime..Barbie Selfies..ha!!!!

Do you remember when you packed up your Barbie dolls as a young girl and decided that you were too cool to play? Are you a mom like me who has rediscovered the joys of playtime through your daughter or son's play? We would love to hear your stories! Be sure to share your experiences  and comments below or on the Barbie Project website! We would love to hear your experiences! 

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