Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Borrowers in the Grass

Song Stuck on the Brain: Music Box Dancer

I really don't know where it came from, I could just suddenly hear a music box playing in my head. I recognized it, but couldn't place it, so I played 'name that tune' by whistling it to my co-worker and he got it.
I used to have a musical jewelry box as a kid that played the song. It had a little toy ballerina that popped up and twirled when you opened the lid. I loved that box. I spent hours imginging her living inside when I wasn't looking. I pretended I was small enough to climb inside with her too. It was dark, cozy - full of possibilities in a vague interior.

I had a real fascination with miniturization and with toys that came to life. I pretended a lot about my toy box and what went on inside when the lid was down. I hid inside it with my toys once, hoping I'd see them move or hear them whisper to one another. No such luck. I think they knew I was listening.

I read all of the Borrowers books and The Littles too. I thought it would be so cool to have a family of Borrowers in our house. I never found any, although I did have a collection of miniature doll furniture that I played with. There were a set of red tufted dining room chairs with a table, a bed, and then little dishes and such that I'd cabbaged onto that were the right size. The little three legged plastic inserts that Pizza Hut put in the boxes to keep your cheese from sticking to the cardboard lid made great tables. I used those with my Barbies too.

Mom was always telling me to go outside and play. We lived in the country, I'm the youngest and I didn't usually have any one to play with. I was content inside, but when I did go out, I usually either took a book or my little doll furniture. I would find the tallest grass in the yard, lay on my stomach and create a house in the grass.

I'd flatten round portions, leaving thin rows of standing grass between to make walls around my 'rooms'. Sometimes I would even braid the grass to make rugs. I'd set up the furniture and then pretend I was a little person that lived there. I would have a pet grasshopper or butterfly. I would live on acorns and berries and mushrooms. I loved it. When I was done, I always wondered if anyone else came to live in my grass home.

I would play the same game though, just about anywhere. Back of my closet under the clothes rack, under a desk or the Christmas tree (awesome with the lights). Sometimes I would just lie on my back and pretend the ceiling was the floor and I could make the room over any way I wanted.

I'm not sure why I lived in my head so much as a kid. If I wasn't playing make believe, I was reading someone else's make believe. I never had an imaginary friend. I just made up a million different imaginary people as the game demanded. I carried on conversations too. Long ones.

I can't really say that anything has changed.

I still like to pretend I'm 6 inches tall, I still stare at the ceiling and pretend the world is upside down, and if I could lay under the Christmas tree - I would. The biggest difference now, is that I also write my make believe down.

I love to just get lost in someone elses world - or mine.

Reality bites.


craftymama said...

How funny. I used to use those plastic things in pizza boxes for tables too! :)

April Erwin said...

Weren't they great? I had a whole collection of them. They worked great as footstools too. :)

April Erwin said...

Ooo, and I made a Barbie roadster with an empty sandwich bag box, wrapping paper and 4 push up pop sticks. Wrapped the empty box for aesthetic good looks, then used the push up pop sticks for wheels. Barbie just fit into the hole the bags came out of. Worked pretty nicely. I think I even used another pop up stick for a steering wheel. I was so proud, because my friend had the Barbie Mansion, the Jeep, Pool, furniture, etc. We couldn't afford any of that. So I was really proud of my car. :)

craftymama said...

heheheh...yep, it was great. :) I didn't have too many really close friends growing up but the girl across the street had anything she wanted. It was funny, one year for Christmas she bought me something and I didn't know she was going to so, I didn't buy her anything. She called and asked if I had her present "handy" so she could bring me mine over. We improvised, she got a pad of paper and a pencil...I got a toy of some sort. Isn't that horrible?? My mom took me and her shopping one time and told us we could buy something for like $5 at the toy store and she tried to get something like the Dream House or something!!! She didn't have a clue what anything cost, not something she had to worry about.

April Erwin said...

Yeah that was kind of how my best friend was. Just kind of money clueless and a little spoiled. Great family though. I usually had to save my allowance if I wanted anything that was a non-birthday or chirstmas present. I saved for months to buy my Tropical Miko Barbie.