When Little Girls Come To Play

Two weeks after the death of my dog and dad, my friend Paula called to ask if I could watch her four-year-old daughter, Kaili, while she attended a meeting. I hesitated, almost said, “No, I can’t possibly put on a happy face and entertain a young child for a couple of hours. I’m still so sad.” Then Paula said, “I can take her with me to the meeting if you can’t watch her, but Kaili specifically asked if she could ‘come play with Mrs. Rodgers.'”

Play. With Mrs. Rodgers. How could I possibly say no to that?

Within minutes after Kaili’s arrival, we were both caught up in the little-girl world of  imagination. We giggled, ate frozen yogurt princess style – tiara and all – and danced around the house, singing and making up tunes of our own. It’s the first time I’d danced in days. Then Kaili asked, “Do you have any toys?” And my first thought was, “Yes, Bubba’s doggie toys.” Then I realized she meant toys left over from my sons’ childhoods. Oh boy, did I ever.

Up the stairs we went to the playroom, Bubba’s old hangout once the kids were grown. I opened the closet door, shut for years, and stared into the faces of my boys’ childhood friends. Ninja Turtles, Gargoyle action figures, and a squad of GI Joes grinned back. Surely my little dancing partner, who loves to play dress-up, would go for the Teenage Turtles over some tough looking dudes in uniform. Nope, she plucked up the soldiers and went to work, arranging them in groups on the couch. Fascinated, I took out my phone and snapped this photo to share with my grown sons.

By the time Kaili’s mother came to pick her up two hours later, I had a smile on my face and joy in my heart.  And some tough looking guys in uniform, hanging out on my couch, sweet-talking me into letting them stay awhile.

When Little Girls come to play


To read more about her work, please visit her website: www.kathleenmrodgers.com

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Author of the novels The Final Salute, Johnnie Come Lately & Seven Wings to Glory. Former contributor to Family Circle Magazine and Military Times. Future work represented by agent Diane Nine, Nine Speakers Inc.

31 thoughts on “When Little Girls Come To Play”

  1. Oh, what a blessing for you that day…and for that precious little four year old who wanted to “come and play with Mrs. Rodgers!” How sweet. But who could blame her? I wouldn’t mind coming over for a day of doing girl stuff with Mrs. Rodgers, either! Thanks for sharing this darling little vignette.

  2. Lovely story, Kathleen. Kaili is a princess and she invited you to be one today, too! I love the GI Joes–they “protected” our homes around the world whenever Daddy was deployed. Thanks for bringing back sweet memories.

  3. What a beautiful story. Sometimes it takes a child to help us see the world in a new light. So glad that Kaili wanted to play with you that day!

  4. Such a sweet time that helped put things into perspective. remember little princess Kay Kay coming to share my first Halloween without Leo. (We had our first date on Halloween) made me realize that Leo wouldn’t have wanted me all alone and sad on our special night! Life goes on and little children help us with their smiles and infectious laughter! Thank God for nice memories and little children!

  5. There is nothing that can equal a heartfelt smile a child can put on your face. So happy she filled you with some joy.

  6. You do realize you are at the top of her list for future baby sitting gigs for the next five years?! LOL

    Wish I could come play with Mrs. Rodgers– and bring Wynona and N’awlins with me!

    Not sure your Tom could handle the four of us!

    Gives new meaning to “imagination.”

    1. JudyAnn – Glad you mentioned the word “novel” in your comment. Story people hare showing up in my head everyday, demanding their stories be told. It is truly time to get to work on my third novel. The two unfinished manuscripts in the bottom drawer don’t count, unless you consider them “donors” for future works. 😉 Thanks again for all your help getting certain aspects of this blog set up.

  7. I loved GI Joe when I was a little girl. He made the perfect boyfriend for Barbie:)
    I am so glad that little girl showed up just when you needed her. It is amazing how a small child can remind us we need to smile.

    1. Hey Doreen – Thanks for stopping by my blog, busy writer lady! I loved what you said about GI Goes being the perfect boyfriends for our Barbies. I was just thinking the same thing earlier. I bet more of us played with GI Joes than Kens back then. 🙂

  8. What a nice afternoon you had. There is something really special about having little girls around. Not better than boys, just different. I wonder who had the better afternoon, you or Kaili. Love you.

    1. Hi Sis – Seeing your comments on here made my whole day. Thank you, Laura, for visiting my new blog and reading my story. You would love Kaili. She’s smart, fun, pretty, and oh so sharp. Nothing goes by her. Haha. Love you and thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  9. What a wonderful story. It makes me miss Merideth, my 8 year old granddaughter. She loves to play dress up and have tea parties.

    1. Charlotte – Long time no see. Good to hear from you and thank you for visiting my blog. I know how close you are to Merideth. If I remember correctly, one of your stories is written with her in mind.

  10. Amazing what can relieve grief. For me it was dreams, nature, and my dog. Beautiful story of hope. Thank you, Kathleen. I wish you solace, joy, (and a book deal). Looking for a subscribe button, but haven’t found it. Must be here somewhere.

  11. God is watching over you and I believe sent this little angel to you that day to love and comfort you and lift your spirit. Such a sweet story. The GII Joe’s and the little girl reminds me of that country song that came out a few years ago by Gary Allan called “Tough Little Boys.” You know how to write to touch our feelings. Beautiful story and beautiful little girl.

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