10 October, 2010

An Old Fashioned Birthday


My own children love love love to hear stories about my childhood: how my friends and I shinnied up and down the laundry chute, how my brother and I rode an inner tube down and around a creek in a Cape Cod cranberry bog, and how my friend Jessie and I hid out in a secret room that was hidden behind a bookcase, at her house.

Young children especially seem to love hearing their parents wax nostalgic.  They seem interested to think of their parents as children, and hear all about their adventures!  I think some of this has to do with the simple idea that parents must have lived in olden times, when fun was simple and just . . . well, fun!  No gadgets were required and imaginations could simply run wild!

I was about 5 when Arthur pulled the sword from the stone.
I don't mean to suggest that my children (or others) don't have wonderful imaginations, enjoy fantastic adventures, or have simple fun.  They certainly do.  I just think children like imagining life in the "olden days," when their parents were young.  (Yes, for all of you doing the math, for me that would be the mid 1970's, which according to my 10 year old son, must surely have been around the time of King Arthur's reign.)  : )




Our youngest daughter, C,  seems especially interested in what life was like "long ago."  She and I have been reading (and loving!) the Milly Molly Mandy series of books by Joyce Lankester Brisley.  C has questions about every chapter.  She wants to know everything about life in Milly Molly Mandy's little village.  So when my husband were thinking about C's birthday this year, we really wanted to find something special, but simple and something seemingly from "long ago."  "Special but simple" is actually our usual criteria for gifts anyway, but for this birthday it seemed even more important that it be so.

I found the perfect items completely by accident, one day when I was poking around in a consignment shop, looking for little pitchers for my classroom.  The first item is a lovely blue flowered bowl with a matching pitcher.  The bowl and the pitcher together were $6.00



The other gift was a very sweet wooden doll cradle.  It had a sort of crazy stencil design on it, but it seemed to be in very good shape.  It has a cut out heart design at the top, and it rocks so nicely.  I hand sanded the sides of the cradle so the stencil design really didn't show much, and then my husband sanded it further with his power sander.  The wood had been a bit rough to begin with, but when he finished sanding it, it was as smooth as glass.  He coated it with tung oil, and it looks and feels marvelous!  Oh, and I forgot to mention the cradle was $12.00.


C loves her birthday gifts!  She must have washed her hands in the bowl 30 times since Thursday!  She is so proud that she can fill the pitcher, carry the water, and pour it into the bowl - all by herself!  She dutifully counts to 20 (per her big sister's instructions) as she lathers up her hands, rinses, and then carries the bowl of soapy water to the sink to pour it out.  She dries out the bowl, places it carefully back on her dresser and then uses some scented hand lotion.  What a lovely process.

Our birthday girl

She is also pretty enamored of her doll cradle.  Upon receiving it, she immediately ran and put her doll Emma into it and covered her with a little blanket that our eldest daughter knit.  Mostly she has been rocking Emma back and forth, back and forth.  She also "decorated" the cradle with a picture she made from sand, so "Emma could look at something pretty."

My husband laughed when I commented on C's love of these "old fashioned" items.  He said, "Well, she is your daughter."  He knows me too well!  I guess I love simple items and so it makes sense that she would too.  I think however, she loves them not only for what she can imagine them to be, but also for what she imagines they might have been, in the "olden times" when her mother was a little girl.





No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comments. They are always much appreciated. : )