Today’s guest post is by Barbara in Robbinsdale.
Welcome to a place where pine cones are medicine, a stick can be a baby bottle, a lily-of-the-valley is a fairy lamp with lots of little tiny lights.
I get to see my 8-year-old neighbor Lola each week for a couple of hours. She always has an idea for what we should do, and although we’ve done a couple of artsy projects (yes, she’s made a placemat from old greeting cards), the most fun has been pretend. And the best place for pretend seems to be out of doors.
I had almost forgotten about pretend. I did plenty of it both as a child, and when my child was young in the 80s. But that was long ago, so clearly I was a bit rusty. I found it’s a bit like riding a bike – you never really forget how. One person says something like “This stone can be the fairies’ doorstep”, and suddenly you find yourself saying “I know some seashells that can be more steps – I’ll go get them!”
When one of those last snowstorms surprised us, Lola and I converted the woodpile-snowdrift into a Fairytown, where the overturned shells became stepping stones, and later (not overturned) for fairy dishes. A hollow log was a safe haven for squirrels and chipmunks and other critters. Once it got warmer, Husband helped us build a Fairy House from some scrap wood pieces and an old squirrel feeder.
Our favorite game to date has been Ambulance. Lola created a doll hospital in a pine tree’s low branches, with hammock style beds she fashioned from tablecloths. She had brought three dolls with her that day, and the wheel barrow was enlisted as The Ambulance.
With the use of both my cordless and cell phones, I was able to call Lola the Ambulance Driver and tell her what street to zip over to (streets were named by what they were near: Garden Lane, Brick Lane, Shovel Lane…). She whisked an injured baby to The Hospital, where there were five available rooms named by the type of injury they housed: Broken Left Leg, Broken Right Leg, Broken Left Arm, Broken Right Arm, and Anything Else!
There was even a waiting room for me, the anxious mother – the garden bench out front over by Brick Lane. All babies/toddlers were successfully treated and given pinecone medicines, and returned by the Ambulance to their homes.
Do you have anyone in your current life with whom you can pretend?
If not, try it here: What would be the prominent features of your imaginary town?