My family spent a wonderful day at the neighborhood pool, for a friend's birthday party. It was one of our most fun pool days ever, though we didn't use enough sunblock and are paying the price tonight.
There was one sad moment for me. I spent much of the day following my two-year-old around, as he played with little boats and pool noodles at the steps of the pool and hot tub. There were three very sweet little girls playing with Barbie mermaids, and my son reached out to try to play with one. The girls politely told him "No, that's not yours."
I explained that my son really likes mermaids, and that he has a Dora mermaid at home. "Have you seen the Dora mermaid?" I asked.
Two of the girls shook their heads. The third said, "Yes. I have the Dora mermaid." Then she turned to one of her friends and said, "But she's fat. Well, sort of fat."
My jaw dropped. I was pretty much speechless.
Dora is a very cute little doll, who looks like a typical healthy and active little girls. I looked again at the Barbies, with their long, tiny waists and hourglass figures.
And I felt sad for all the girls who will always be beautiful Doras, but will grow up feeling like there is something wrong with them because they are not Barbies.