I love our new art room. All the arts & crafts supplies can be found there. My kids can splatter paint and spread chalk dust around to their hearts’ content. There is even a plasma car to ride around on when you feel the need for inspiration. Finley, the betta, has taken up permanent residence on the table and the iPod is plugged into a speaker and set on a continuous loop of the Tangled soundtrack.
I would have loved a space like this when I was a kid. Chock full of glue, paper, pom poms, glitter, paint, markers and possibility.
Don’t get me wrong — when I think about the basement at our house when I was a kid, it was all about imagination. Made-up games, as my girls call them now. And listening to them play pretend is bringing it all back to me. In that unfinished space of my childhood, full of carpet remnants and mismatched furniture, my sister and I and our neighbourhood friends spent hours not just playing our made-up games, but setting the scene for our dramas.
First the cast of characters, complete down to their middle names. An involved family tree and background story had to be conceived and fleshed out for each person and, if the game was a continuation from yesterday at supper time, we had to recap the entire pretend history. This was really the best part.
Next, we had to build the forts. After all, even made-up people need somewhere to live. The pool table, a cast off from my grandparents’ house was coveted for its cozy interior and rooftop garden. Behind the bookcase was also a fab pad, as it came furnished with bean bag chairs. Last and definitely least, the couch/coffee table combo. My poor younger sister often got stuck with its sagging afghan roof and skull-and-coaster-jarring low ceiling.
And then we played. “Say I’m … in a car accident and you find me unconscious!” “Say I … get fired from my job, but on the way home I buy a lottery ticket and win!” “Say … we all go to the beach and we get chased by sharks!” “Say … ”
“Say I’m a world-famous author … “