You can imagine how excited she was when she discovered a doll that looked like this.
She waited and begged and pleaded and waited some more. Then, on her ninth birthday, her wildest dreams came true.
The girl and Molly were inseparable from that moment on. Molly traveled with the girl on vacations and on everyday adventures to the grocery store.
The girl wore braids in her hair and picked out round red glasses so she could pretend to be this brave-but-average girl from the 1940's.
She stalked the mailbox waiting for each new catalog's release and spent hours pouring over each outfit, accessory, and extra special thing that she needed. Items were circled and Christmas lists were distributed faithfully.
She lived out hours of imaginations involving Molly and her family and friends. Molly came to life at camp, in the backyard swimming pool, at church - everywhere she went, there was a story to tell.
The girl's mother made countless beautiful dresses for Molly to wear, and even duplicated some of them for the girl - and didn't complain when she wore them in public.
The friendship endured the test of time, and even when other dolls had been packed away, Molly stayed with the girl. On her honeymoon, the girl told her husband that they would be stopping to explore the place Molly could be found.
The next time the girl was in the big city, she even purchased items from Molly's collection.
The girl's place of employment provided some amazing opportunities. Molly got to attend multiple events with the girl. The girl still loved to dress up her doll for fancy occasions like tea parties.
Note: if you wear your hair in this Gibson Girl style, you can look forward to this.
Then, something wonderful happened. The girl had a daughter of her own. In just a few short years, Molly would have a new best friend and playmate. There would be more dressing up and tea parties and sleepovers and matching outfits made by the girl's mother.
But it turns out there won't be any more trips to buy Molly's accessories. Because Molly's collection will be archived, very soon. The girl knows that she already owns most of Molly's clothing and will pass it on to her daughter. It's just that there is something magical about being able to experience things yourself - and not through your mother's memory.
Will my daughter ever love Molly as much as I do? Maybe not - and who's to say what's to blame for that. But Molly and I have certainly known a beautiful companionship, for almost 20 years now. And my heart is more than just a little bit broken that my daughter's generation will never experience her the same way I did.