Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Leaf House is a Fun Place to Live-and Play!

I was recently reminded how absolutely fantastically wonderful it is to play in the leaves. And if that reminder comes from a child-as it did for me-then the experience is all the more amazing-turning an afternoon visit into an afternoon of imagination through the eyes of a 3-year old granddaughter.

When I first arrived she and her mommy and daddy had been gathering leaves into a giant pile. She came around the corner of the house, sitting on her daddy's lap-smiling-as he drove the lawn mower while holding a rake. The fun soon began as she buried her daddy-and then her mommy in the picky leaves. Then they turned the tables and covered her in the leaves. She didn't stay still for long. Up she jumped-her hair twisted in leaves-coughing and laughing and jumping around.

 After a bit, it was just the two of us at the leaf pile-then in the leaf pile-then under the leaf pile over and over again. But that curious, childhood imagination really kicked in when I took a rake and made us a leaf house. While she anxiously waited I framed off some of the leaves-like putting up the framework of a house. Then I took more leaves and 'built' walls in our house-adding doorways and a kitchen and living room, a bathroom and two bedrooms. Each bedroom had a very comfortable leaf bed with a very comfortable leaf pillow. The kitchen had a leaf table and leaf refrigerator. The living room had a leaf chair for each of us. She never mentioned adding a leaf TV! But she did add an extra front door and a leaf window in her bedroom and mine. Then we moved into our leaf house. She placed her sippy cup on the leaf table in the leaf kitchen before going to sleep. Night time flew in that leaf house as a few seconds later she jumped out of her leaf bed, got dressed, brushed her teeth. Then she ate breakfast and came rushing into my leaf bedroom telling me it was time to get up.

"Gra-Gra. I have to go to school now."

So up I got out of my comfortable leaf bed-brushed my teeth-had a quick cup of leaf coffee and off we went. We did this over and over. After taking her to school-which was the front porch, I'd go home and clean the leaf house and cook leaf food. When I picked her up she'd show me all the things she drew or colored in school. Some ended up taped to the leaf refrigerator.

With all our comings and goings our leaf walls needed constant patching-meaning raking the leaves back in place due to a certain little someone getting so excited she'd burst right through the leaf walls, forgetting about the two leaf doorways. When she realized what she'd done she would go back through the leaf wall and then out the leaf doorway-always laughing and always running. And when she wasn't going to school up on her front porch she was a little puppy, wagging her tail, whimpering as she fell asleep in her leaf crate after my feeding her a leaf biscuit in our leaf kitchen.

What was to be an afternoon visit turned into a most magical journey with a most imaginative little girl. It reminded me that Mother Nature remains the best toy store ever-providing us with leaves and puddles and snow piles and twigs and grass and stones to play in and play with-turning them into whatever we choose-and it's all free-no batteries needed-no need to power up. Just bring along a child bursting with imagination-that's all the power you need!

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