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1. Strong pelvic floor muscles

2. A bespoke suit. Or a bespoke dress. Or a bespoke outfit or any sort. The word bespoke is really cool to say and I love the idea of someone taking my measurements and making something that’s just for me.

3. Never having to enter a password or retrieve a password or reset a password ever again. Ever.

4. Migraine meds that always work. Asking for an end to migraines would be too greedy, obviously.

5. Insurance companies that always cover everything without first denying your claim or pretending you don’t have coverage that you know you do or deciding they know more about your health than you and your doctor do. Excellent health insurance for everyone. That includes vision and dental because eyes and teeth are actually parts of your body.

6. One remote that enables you to find and watch all of the shows you have access to through any device or streaming service, which you can operate entirely on your own without asking your kids or husband for help. And the remote never gets lost. If it falls between the sofa cushions, some mechanism ejects it automatically and returns it to the coffee table.

7. 500 more square feet of house. I know it would be too much to ask to have a new house, but I would love just a bit more space so I could have a room of my own in which to work or read or meditate or hide. A room with a door. That no one else claims as their own. Or leaves their crap in. Ha! Even if I had such a room other people’s stuff would inevitably end up there. That is the way of the world.

8. Bras whose hooks never get bent or stab you, and are always easy to take on and off, and that fit well and are flattering. And that you don’t have to shop for! Bespoke bras.

9. Moisturizer that is appropriate for my skin type. That I don’t have to shop for. Bespoke moisturizer!

10. A family pet whose species my family can agree on adopting. And who comes with free food and meds and fully paid vet bills for at least the first year. A pet that everyone will love to snuggle. Although I would prefer to snuggle babies from time to time. But I’m pretty sure the family will not agree to adopt any babies.

People keep asking what I want for Christmas. This is probably too much to ask, especially with Christmas the day after tomorrow. So I’d be happy with some soft, warm socks. Or chocolate chip cookies. Or a hug. I’m easy to please.

The other night we had Chinese food for dinner and Zoe opened a fortune cookie. Her fortune read “Your dearest wish will come true.”

She revealed that her dearest wish was to have an American Girl doll. But we already knew this.

A few weeks ago Zoe was looking at books on cd with me at the library. Completely at random she picked out the stories about Molly, the spunky American Girl from 1944 with wire-rimmed glasses and braids. Molly is 9 in the stories, as I think all the American Girls are in their own stories. And I’ve observed a vast array of American Girl products aimed at the 8- to 11-year-old demographic. But Zoe is precocious at almost five, and she absolutely loved the stories. She listened to all six discs at every opportunity. I even listened to as much of the stories as I could. They were interesting! And well-written! I wanted to know why Emily from London came to live with Molly, and what Molly’s dad, an army doctor serving in Europe during the war, was writing in letters home. And how Molly and her friends were making Halloween costumes out of scrap materials because things were rationed. I’ve always enjoyed history most when it comes coated in fiction.

Then we got the Molly movie from the library, which she watched with Randy. He cried, and actually thought it was well done too.

All of us were a little smitten with Molly.

Coincidentally, or perhaps karmically or cosmically or whatever you want to believe, my mom had picked out Molly as a doll for Zoe long ago. She planned to wait until Zoe was a little older to give her the doll, but then Zoe started developing this deep desire. And what are grandparents for, if not to grant your wishes?

In addition to the Molly doll, my mom had procured some furniture for Molly and a set of the six books about her as well as a tiny version of the Molly doll. Perhaps the regular Molly doll’s own American Girl doll. She sent me to the American Girl store in Tyson’s Corner to find some additional accessories, including Molly’s dog Bennett.

I was in awe at the store. You may know I am a complete sucker for good marketing, and the American Girl people seriously know what they are doing. It’s a two-level store that includes a bistro for girls and their dolls to dine, a hair salon where grown women give your doll a new hairdo, and oh so much merchandise. Many, many dolls. Many, many outfits. And all kinds of accessories, from doll-sized grand pianos to a DVD that shows you how to style your doll’s hair (since you can’t take her to the doll hair salon every day, of course). It was masterful.

And of course, it was expensive. I will not argue with that.

But I saw all these girls who looked to be 8 or 9, holding their dolls, shopping with their moms. And it seemed so wholesome! The girls were not trying to be teenagers or be sexy or be adults before their time. They were really intent on accessorizing their dolls. And most of the dolls are historical. There’s Kit from the Great Depression; Addy, an African-American girl during the Civil War; Josefina from 1824 New Mexico, Kaya, a member of the Nez Perce tribe in 1764; and others. They all have many books about them that actually talk about history, and don’t shy away from hard truth. Certainly they’re still nice stories for girls (and I acknowledge I haven’t read any besides Molly’s) but they’re legitimate literature. They are not like any Dora books or My Little Pony books or Disney princess books in which someone has written down a story based on a show or movie in the most basic language you can imagine.

So I know people think it’s a racket and you can get a cheaper doll at Target (of course you can, but it’s not the same), but if Zoe’s going to be into something, I think American Girls are a lovely choice. I certainly prefer them to Barbie. They’re wholesome. They teach history. They have books (did I mention the books?). And no batteries required.

Tomorrow is Zoe’s birthday, so tonight when we were at their house, my parents made Zoe’s dearest wish come true. We are all very excited to welcome Molly (and mini-Molly) and Bennett into our home. They’re tucked into their bed, right next to Zoe’s bed, and are all sleeping peacefully.

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