I’m writing this as we are wrapping up day two of being snowed in here at the house, and I am pleased to report I have NOT lost my mind. Yet.
The white stuff started coming down Friday night, it sleeted most of Saturday, then snowed a bit more in the evening before finally stopping. The result: we weren’t going ANYWHERE, despite my pleas to the weather gods otherwise. My daughter woke up Saturday morning ready to go out in the snow promptly at 6:15. I told her she had to wait until it was light, which led to her shouting “It’s light!” every ten minutes or so for the next two hours. (Side note: it was not.) When we finally did go out, she only wanted to stay in the snow for about twenty minutes, which is about how long it took to bundle her up so we could go outside in the first place. Still, though, it was fun stomping around, and we did manage to make a sort-of snowman today. The snow was pretty powdery, not that great for packing, so it was more like a snow heap with a face, but I think it still counted:
Okay, so I never said I was artistic. At least not in that way.
The true saving grace of this weekend? My dollhouse. Now, when I was a kid, I was mad crazy into dollhouses. I spent all my time and money at the local hobby store, buying furniture and food and pots and pans and all that kind of stuff. I really think that this was the beginning of my life as a writer, in many ways, because I would construct these elaborate histories, personalities and situations for everyone and everything in my dollhouse. (The families were always dysfunctional: lots of divorces, people being disowned, that kind of thing. Maybe I was watching soap operas or something.) When I was about nine, I saved up a hundred dollars to buy one I’d been drooling over for months: a big, grey French Victorian with a front porch and four floors. I loved it dearly…until I outgrew it, a few years later, at which point my mom and I disassembled it, packed away all the furniture and accessories, and put it up in her attic. A few years back, we moved it over to mine, where it sat collecting dust, all boxed up, until this weekend.
I knew my daughter, at two, couldn’t handle all the tiny, delicate pieces, so my husband and I put it together, then filled it with the more sturdy and plastic furniture. She loved it, immediately starting to play while I sat, digging through the boxes of stuff, completely awash in nostalgia. I’d open up something wrapped in tissue, like a rose-decorated bathtub, or a wedding cake, and just gasp. It was crazy, how familiar all these things were that I hadn’t seen in thirty-something years. It blew my mind. Of course, I wanted to organize everything, chairs around the table, fireplace in the living room, the way I’d had it way back when. But Sasha had other ideas: she put the fireplace outside, the kitchen stuff in the attic, and the toilet in the foyer. At first, I tried to fix it, but then I realized something: this was hers now. Her house, her story to tell. And if her story involved toilets in the entryway, well, then, so be it. I needed to get out of the way and just let her do her thing. So I did, even though it was tough. I mean, the coffeepot was in the shower! What was this, a frat house?
See, there I go. Making up another story. Maybe this will be good for my creative process. Huh. I wonder….