For a long time I have been enamored with the type of fabulous creations that are found in toy catalogs like Magic Cabin. When they appear in my mailbox I hide them from my children until I’ve had a chance to drool over the gorgeous spreads depicted on the glossy pages. Oh, the lovely absence of plastic! The loose concepts leaving lots of room for childish ideas! The enticing colors and knobby shapes just right for little hands!
I almost give in to the whim of a foolhardy shopping spree when I glimpse the fairy house sets staring out at me from the corner of the page my youngest is busy chewing up.
Who cares if it melts my credit card! Look at that tree fort kit, it’s calling me-- Oops, can’t see it anymore for the marker scribbles.
My children save me once again. [whew]
So instead, today we’ll reach for what we can have. What we do have. What we can do. We take a quick inventory and gather the supplies.
Time to plop the baby into his highchair with a snack a few interesting bits of this and that and some containers to put them into, making him feel like he is part of the action. Thank you, Tupperware.
Then let the fun began. And the story weaving. All the time we are working on our project I tell my two older children a story about the world we are building.
Today it comes down to Pan.
Peter Pan, that is. Some say James M. Barrie wasn’t quite right in the head but you have to give him credit for being a genius storyteller. Neverland is the perfect enchantment for boys and girls alike. Mermaids, pirates, fairies, Indians, runaways-- it’s all there. My two love it. It’s been a while since we listened to audio book I am free to take as much artist’s license as my motherhood-warped memory requires.
Laying the green blanket out for the grassy ground.
Once upon a time there was a boy named Peter Pan. He was a rascal.
Peter loved living in Neverland because as long as he stayed there he would never grow into a man. He would never face the work and worries that come with growing-up. Neverland was beautiful and covered with every kind of landscape. Mountains, rivers, beaches and plenty of forest.
Peter was a great favorite with the fairies. He was the only one that they would let have a peek inside the secret tree village where they lived. They loved his handsome face and would gladly give him their precious fairy-dust so he could fly with them whenever he liked. Tinkerbell loved him best of all.
The lost boys lived in a tree as well. It was a fabulous fort with ladders, sliding poles, a look out plateform and no mothers to tell the boys to pick-up their toys.
The Fairies often traded food they had gathered in the woods for treasures and trinkets The Lost Boys had stolen from the pirates.
Meeting the characters-- stickers on cardstock we cut-out with rose petal wings added to the fairies.
Oh, yes, PIRATES! Hook was the worst of them. Peter fought a mighty sword fight with Captain Hook once and it ended with Peter feeding the Pirate captain’s hand to a crocodile. [gasp] Then Hook had a hook for a hand and that is why he was called----well--- Hook.
The Lost Boys spent their days playing games with their many friends. The Indians loved to play with them. They took turns capturing each other; tracking subtle footprints through the forest, sneaking up and then pretending to burn the enemy at the stake, getting away in the end every time. Oh yes, very good friends they were.
My favorite parts?
Overhearing my children adding their own touches of imagination to the basic storyline I had told them-- just as they had added their own trinkets and personal flourishes to the wrought iron framework of the tiny new world I had laid out from them.
And it doesn’t have to cost a dime.
My checkbook lives to tell another tale.
Impish Smiles in Nebraska