princess for a day

Before Mia was born, and even in her early years, I was adamantly opposed to anything “princess”.  My ideas about princesses had come from watching Disney films and reading (awful) Disney books, in which the (usually) white, blond, blue-eyed, helpless girl is rescued by a strong and capable prince.  She has nothing going for her but her good looks and status and can’t do much of anything because she is wearing a hoopskirt. Please.

Through the years, I have been stubborn.  I have avoided princesses as much as I possibly could.  Yes, I know this sounds terrible and controlling and mean…but let me explain.  Although I haven’t encouraged any princess-type play, I haven’t discouraged it, either.  Above my own ideals, I value freedom. I want Mia to feel free and safe to explore and play whatever her heart desires. So I let her be, and from the sidelines, encourage discussion about those underlying meanings, more or less to make myself feel better.

Despite her mother’s stubbornness, Mia has inevitably learned about this world of princesses.  Though she has never seen a Disney princess movie and maybe doesn’t quite understand the princess stereotype yet, she has acquired a few little figurines, learned their names, and suddenly loves everything princess.

So I found a compromise. An answer to please us both. Something we could love together, while keeping this imaginary world of princesses alive.  Let me introduce Rosamond, the Princess of Colchester!

Princess Rosamond is the main character from the book, The Well at the End of the World by Robert D. San Souci.  The story and illustrations are equally beautiful, and best of all, Rosamond is a tough, intelligent, and selfless princess.  The story is much like Cinderella, but with a contemporary twist; Rosamond has a cruel step-mother and step-sister, but with her loving heart and wise mind, she doesn’t let them determine her fate or the fate of her ill father. When Rosamond reaches the well at the end of the world on her quest to save her father, she is rewarded for her good heart with riches and a promise of true love.  The riches mean little to her; the greatest reward is that her father becomes well again. When she has healed her father, she shares her riches to help the needy. In the end, Rosamond gets the ultimate reward and falls in love with a prince, and for all the right reasons: they laugh together, they enjoy reading books to each other by the fire,  and most of all, they love each others company.  Now *there* is a princess I don’t mind my daughter looking up to!

Today, Mia made a crown just like Princess Rosamond’s.  She wore the crown along with her fanciest dress and took loving care of her little sister (even though little sis was tugging at her dress and trying to eat her crown)….because that is what princesses do!

The Well at the End of the World

by Robert D. San Souci

another year, another birthday!

Alan turned 32 today! He was born on the first day of spring, which I’ve always thought a perfect metaphor for who he is.  Alan is purely spontaneous, bringing new perspectives into my life and never failing to surprise me…which is not *always* a good thing, but is what drew me to him and what gives my life its spark!  A kid at heart, he is playful, easy-going, and makes people happy.

Mia loves to make things for people and spent this whole week preparing for Alan’s birthday.  My generic Target-bought gifts didn’t hold a candle to her heartfelt creations, although I do think he is pretty excited about his new crank-handle camping lantern!

Alan is the proud owner of this make-believe fairy world: the dream of any grown man, right?

Another dream come true…maybe not, but it did pull at his heartstrings a bit.

And an extra gift to all of us today: Mia learned to tie her shoe laces–another little sign of her growing up ever so quickly.

Happy birthday to Alan, who keeps me laughing and always on my toes!

xoxo

two-surprise tuesday

Our newest tradition: Two-Surprise Tuesday!

Both surprises welcomed Mia when she awoke this morning.

I love the idea of starting the day with wet-on-wet watercolor painting, as is done in Waldorf classrooms.  This is something I would love to do every day, but with the hoopla of getting everyone dressed and fed in the morning (and undressed and tucked into bed the night before), that might be a stretch.

However, there is a special treat I don’t have to stretch for: having hot porridge in the crock pot, prepared the night before and ready to eat in the morning.  With a dollop of butter, a little cream, a swirl of maple syrup, we have a simple, wholesome breakfast that almost made itself!

But of course, as much as I enjoyed these little treats on Two-Surprise Tuesday, this  was not about me.  It was about Mia.  It was about making her feel special, adding to her memory-bank, and welcoming a new tradition to our weekday lives.

She loved it.

For more information on Stockmar paints and wet-on-wet watercolor supplies, visit:

http://www.novanatural.com/creativity/wet-on-wet/stockmar-watercolor-paints

For more information about Waldorf education, visit:

http://www.whywaldorfworks.org/02_W_Education/index.asp

books

Bookmaking is a simple way to encourage free expression in children.  It is open and loose; there are no rules or patterns to follow, and it provides endless opportunities for developing creativity.  A variety of materials can be used–materials that most households already have on hand.

The end result is an intimate, little object that children (and adults!) will love to hold and page through, over and over again.

Today Mia and I made books together.  She filled a few with drawings and words and wrapped them to give to her special people for Valentine’s Day.  A  sweet girl and a special day.

Love.