The Shiny Red TablePosted: December 19, 2013
It’s almost Christmas, and I’m on a mission to see how many dolls I can buy and how much fun I can think of for little girls (granddaughters) and dolls to have together.
Full of imagination, I ran into Goodwill to see if anyone, by chance, had dropped off a real silver coffee service, with tray, coffee pot, teapot, sugar bowl, and creamer, the real deal in silver that needs to be polished. Jillie loves tea parties, and I wanted her to have the real thing. She and I have used mine before in play.
Instead, pushed back up under a bottom shelf, I found a real china 22-piece tea set in the original box, all packed in Styrofoam. One cup was missing. The rest was in perfect shape. $7.99. Jillie is four, too young for glass, but I couldn’t resist. It will be perfect for a tea party with the big doll I bought her for Christmas.
That got me to thinking about my own childhood. My mama went to a used furniture store and bought a wooden kitchen table, cut the legs off to child-size, painted it a shiny red, got two old chairs from the school where she taught, and painted them red, too. My sister and I had a big red art-and-game table in our frilly pastel blue room.
That red table is the most memorable thing from my early days. I designed paper doll dresses on it—drew them to fit the paper doll’s body, made tabs to clip over the shoulders, colored the dress with special buttons and bows and effects, then cut it out. I drew pictures, painted pictures, colored pictures. I shaped clay. I played Monopoly and Go Fishing. I dressed my dolls and made up stories about them and had my own tea parties.
Just how much creativity was born on that shiny red table? I spent hours there in my own little world making up things to do and creating and completing projects. What better education is there? I didn’t have to be entertained by TV or DVD or I-device with plugs in my ears, mesmerized by technology, my mind shut down.
I learned to build my own world and to entertain myself. . .
On the shiny red table.