Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Boxed In

In an attempt to break away from the activities that have become our normal routine as of late, I pulled out a few cardboard boxes that have been taking up space in the garage. My plan was to break them down and then use duck tape to secure the pieces together to make an indoor playhouse of sorts (letting Audrey use crayons to decorate the outside). As I broke down the first two boxes, Audrey played in the third, asking me to stop every few minutes to "close [her]." After stopping to "close her" and restarting my project several times, I stopped altogether. If I made a house for Audrey, I would have to take the third box from her, which she had already found a way to enjoy. I didn't know if she would even like the house better once I finished. So I let the house go and we played with two flattened boxes and the third that was still partially assembled. That box served as an alcove in which she could hide, a tunnel to crawl through, and a treasure chest in which to hide her blocks. The flattened boxes became a dance floor before we propped them up into a makeshift shanty house, nothing like the house I had originally envisioned, but functional enough for the two of us to sit together with a few Lego furnishings.

As we played, I was reminded that sometimes the best plan is to not have one. Sometimes the best thing I can do for my child is just get out of her way. And, most important, the house we build is not near as important as the imagination housed inside.

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