At that moment, Mama walked in with something behind her back. We all turned and gave our various greetings. Mama returned them, then placed a Safeway grocery bag full of unknown items on the bed behind her.
"What's in the bag, Mama?" I asked boldly. Tess gave me an astonished look. She would never be so direct. But I firmly believe in getting things out in the open. I'm not one for beating around the bush.
Mama smiled a little. I don't know what she found so amusing. "It's a surprise...for all of you."
Instantly, the room was filled with an almost tangible excitement. Now all of us were even more curious. I thought I would explode if she didn't tell us soon!
"I know it's been a rough couple of months," Mama began. She gave sympathetic looks to Hailey and Tess, who had suffered the worst from all the changes in our doll family. I reached over and gave Tess's hand a little squeeze. She squeezed mine back, a quiet thank you shining in her eyes.
"For the past few months," Mama began, "I've been slowly building up a collection."
"Another collection?" I blurted out before I could stop myself. You've got to understand, Mama has collections coming out her ears! She's got us, her Breyer horses, her Boyds Bears, an overabundance of Beauty and the Beast dolls and paraphernalia...and let's not forget her CDs and movies. I couldn't imagine what other thing on earth she would need to collect. Before long, Papa will need a room of his own...there won't be any room left for him in here!
Mama was looking a little bit annoyed. I knew it was time to shut my mouth and just listen. "I have a little something for each of you," she finally continued. "A collection of surprises."
I felt a little guilty. Here Mama was, giving us gifts, and I was giving her a hard time.
Mama reached into the bag and pulled something out, which she quickly hid behind her back. "I'll start with you, Tess," she said with a smile.
"Me?" Tess asked incredulously. That's so like Tess. She'd never imagine that anyone would want to choose her first. I could learn a thing or two about humility from my friend.
Mama handed her...what was it? It was an American Girl Rebecca doll and book!! Tess gasped with delight. "My doll!" she cried happily.
Mama smiled. "You're welcome. Now," she said, turning back to the bag. "Let's see what else I have in here."
Once another mystery item was hidden behind her back, she turned to Hailey. "This is for you, sweetie. Your sister wanted you to have it."
Katie was the next of us to get a treat from Mama's bag. Katie's not as into American Girl dolls either, but she loves Blythe dolls. You should have seen the look on her face when Mama handed her a Blythe doll of her own!
Well, here it was. My turn. I put what I hope was a pleasant, excited expression on my face.
"Now Maggie," Mama began. "For you, I did something a little different. This is something that belonged to me back when I was in college. I thought you might appreciate having it for your collection." She pulled something out from behind her back.
It was...it was...an action figure? A Lord of the Rings Aragorn/Strider action figure? With a sword and everything?!? How cool is that!!!
Now, I'll be the first to state up front that I prefer the books over the movies. But hey, this guy is pretty cool! I'm not going to complain. And it isn't a doll! Yay! I guess I should have known that Mama would know me better than that.
"This is perfect," I said a little too quickly.
Everybody started laughing. I joined in, too. How could I help it?
Our first group shot. It was just a little bit crowded this way, so Mama decided to try a new pose.
First, she got a shot of all of the "big girls". :)
This way, we all fit a little better. It was still a bit of a squeeze getting us all in the shot, though.
Yay!! Here I am with my awesome Aragorn figure. He's one of my favorite characters in the books. The others are Faramir, Legolas, Eowyn and Arwen. :)
A close-up. Don't mess with this guy!
I kinda hit the jackpot. After everyone got their gifts, Mama took me aside. It seems that when Mama went to get my Aragorn, her Dad gave her two boxed Lord of the Rings actions figures that had just been sitting in his garage...and Mama said I could have them, too!
This is the first guy: Treebeard, the Ent. I liked his character a LOT better in the books than in the movie, but he's still pretty cool looking. He and Aragorn are my jumbo action figures.
This was my next surprise: a Frodo action figure just the right size for me!!
The paint job is incredibly detailed for how small he is. I love it!
Here are the 4 sisters (well, 2 pairs of 2 sisters) playing with their dolls.
Hailey with Felicity
Emma with Ruthie
Tess with Rebecca
Katie and Lucy with their goodies. Katie is a little old to play with dolls (well, so are Tess and Emma for that matter, but they don't care...they must be like Mama!). She always makes time to play with her sister, though. She's pretty cool that way.
Katie with Blythe
Lucy with Plum Pudding
And as a last, parting shot...I thought it was hilarious that Charlie wasted no time in finding Kit a Buzz Lightyear of her very own! :)