Friday, March 12, 2010

To Grow Imaginations- part 1

A shoe zoomed by my head with a “swoosh” sound effect from my three year old. I looked up from my perch on the couch just in time to see the tiny homemade fairy with crazy yarn hair and a little stuffed giraffe fly by tucked into one of my daughter’s sneakers. The shoe was followed by a wooden toy boat loaded with more homemade fairies and various small wooden animal shapes bobbing along in the air supported by my 5 year old’s arm. Following the boat was yet another shoe, this one sparkly and red from last year’s Dorothy costume for Halloween with more fairies, tiny people and animals tucked inside with my 8 year old daughter providing sound effects. I paused in my reading to see if I could catch the tale being woven with flying shoes, boats, funny fairies, and wooden animals in the amazing minds of my three daughters. They called back and forth to each other with the voices of fantasy play about a magical land they had to reach before nightfall. Though it was early morning, nightfall was apparently coming quickly judging by the urgency with which they encouraged each other along. I couldn’t catch it all but their land of fantasy sounded truly fascinating.

Like most parents, we’ve experienced the fun of picking out just the right toys for our children for holidays and birthdays only to have our youngsters captivated by the wrapping paper and boxes over the gifts we selected for them. At first I was slightly hurt by their apparent lack of appreciation of all that I went through to find the perfect gift, hide it and then wrap it up for them. Actually, they did seem to appreciate that last part a bit but the toy itself was profoundly neglected in favor of the packaging they had ripped apart. Eventually my disappointment gave way to rationalizing their choice, they were so young and when everything was cleaned up they could see and play with the toy properly. Besides, when they got older their appreciation and anticipation of the gift inside the packaging would grow. I told myself that for quite sometime.

With three children close in age it didn’t take long for the toys to begin pilling up and still the boxes and wrapping paper were the best part. We began to assess the situation of trying to keep the toys caroled and I noticed that I was less than thrilled with them myself. Not just because they were regularly under foot and actually not played with that often but because most of them were an ugly nuisance. The colors seemed tacky, the beeps and whirls down right irritating, the music out of tune, and they seemed to rob my children of something that I couldn’t put my finger on. It didn’t help that there were just so many of them! I was overwhelmed with the shear amount of toys available, how to pick which one to play with at any given moment? Did they even matter any more? One thing was certain, the toys were in the way of our lives but I wasn’t sure how or why.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jessica! Just popping over from the HER boards (daisyfairside) because I was wondering how Cosette was doing - then I happened upon this post and HAD to ask - those gorgeous knitted/crocheted dolls - where on earth did you find them? Are they Waldorf? Tilda had a green one VERY similar we misplaced and I had yet to find an Etsy seller with something similar. Just curious. :)

    Your family is gorgeous and you guys are just way too fun. :) Very inspiring to see what a creative, happy bunch you are raising.