Friday, July 11, 2008


Yesterday afternoon I walked into my living room to find the Pixie systematically destroying one of her sister's pre-K projects. Apparently she had finally realized that the Princess's beautiful house looked just like a present...and she decided to open it. Perhaps because such moments are so blessedly rare with the Pixie it had never occurred to me that the little house was in danger. I was devastated. That silly little house had been a favorite of mine, and was one I intended to save for The Princess. It had been part of an entire village her class had built - complete with Styrofoam cups full of newly planted grass and cardboard sidewalks. Now it was nothing more than a pile of scrap paper and a goldfish box with sticks glued on top.

Truth be told, I was also worried about what the Princess might do when she found out about her sister's Godzilla impression. Sibling rivalry is also rare in this home, but this is exactly the sort of thing that normally would touch off an explosion.
Imagine my surprise, then, when the Princess announced this morning that she was going to redo her house. There was no anger or sorrow, and I didn't see a morsel of loss or regret. Instead, she seemed quite pleased that she had a project for the day, and was eagerly looking forward to each step of the process. Her father told me that he had offered to help her put the old pieces back together again, but that she had turned him down, having already decided to recreate.
After breakfast, Princess gathered her materials and began meticulously refitting the box with a new paper cover. Wanting to be able to focus on her artwork, she agreed to wait until her sister's nap to decorate the house. As soon as her sister went to bed, she ran for her paints and old clothes while I set up her workstation in the kitchen. Two blissful hours were spent painting and drawing as she redesigned her house.
She was utterly happy. Now I am not often surprised by my children. As their mother, I fancy that I know them better than anyone else, and can usually predict how they will react to any given situation. Today, though, my Princess caught me completely off guard and in the process she taught me a huge lesson.

What I had seen as a complete disaster, my daughter chose to view as an opportunity. The old house had been nice, but had long outlived it's usefulness. Rebuilding it though, now that was something special. (Kind of like Mom and her lace shawls, now that I think about it...) It's all about perspective, and I think I need to work a little bit harder to be more like my child.
And the new house?
It's even prettier than the last.

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

Wonderful story--and such a lovely new house!