Since they were wee I have taught my children to find magic where ever they look. We make toys from all things that enter our path. My daughter at the ripe age of six has mastered this concept to the extreme. The very thing we teach at times becomes our nemesis.
If you were to meet my children outside of our cottage you most likely would depart thinking what a wonderfully imaginative tribe we all are. This is true however one of the side effects of such joyful free thinking is my daughter tends to spend a great deal of time on "projects" . Every item set aside for recycling is inspected by her nimble hands for value. She will cut paste and manipulate just about anything into and glorious creation to stimulate hours of play. The problem is what to do with all of these magical creations which pile up in every corner of her domain. I have yet to find an orderly way to deal with it all and hiding the recycling hasn't helped one bit. I wonder when she will allow me to say goodbye to some of this? Or perhaps is it the first stage of hoarding? Most of the "projects" are homes for the various fairies and friends that come from what she calls the Imaginary World. So am I the evil witch who wants to evict them to restore a bit of order? What started as a simple village has become urban sprawl with no end in site.
The positive outcome is she rarely asked me to buy her toys. When she does I honor her request. These special toys come from Etsy sellers such as mamakopp, freedomrainbow and auntbooesbabies. She treats them all with gentle reverence.
She also is one of the few children I know who would prefer to receive and give handmade birthday presents to her friends. She was invited to a party with several girls she didn't know. I was nervous the others might tease her when she pulled out whatever creation she had fashioned for the occasion. As the birthday girl quickly tore open Barbie dolls, make up kits and plastic ponies I began to search for the nearest exit. To my surprise I was wrong. She opened the handmade wrapping paper slowly to admire the drawings then pulled out the present, a doll bed made from a foil roasting pan painted purple with a blanket, mattress and pillow sewn from recycled chenille. The finishing touch was 2 silk flowers secured with hot glue.
" It's a doll bed" my daughter offered.
" I know! Let's go get my dolls!" the birthday girl replied.
Off the party ran to play with the roasting pan bed. That was a year or so ago. Last week we went to visit this friend and in her room was the bed, still being loved with no sign of a plastic pony.
So I will hold my tongue and not evict the fairies from our small cottage and stand back and cherish this short time she will visit the imaginary world.