Goldilocks made an appearance at our house last week. Morgan dictated an invitation that went something like this:
Please come have porridge with us. And the bears too. Please don't eat the raspberry bush. And thank Mama for making the porridge. Love, Morgan.
We stuck the note in a tree for Goldilocks to find. The next morning we set out 4 bowls of porridge. Then we took a walk around the porch, and when we came back in, Goldilocks had eaten all of her breakfast. (She was kind enough to not eat the other 3 bowls.) Morgan was a little disappointed Goldilocks didn't stick around, but I explained that she was being sneaky. Of course, I was relieved the bears refrained from visiting. The last time the bears came to visit they tore into the garbage! Morgan was certain that Goldilocks took the note from the tree and carried it back into the story with her.
Morgan made a point of distinguishing between the real Goldilocks as opposed to the story book Goldilocks. As we talked about the event, I was impressed by how fluid Goldilocks was--how she was able to walk out of a story into reality, and then back into the book again. I'd like to think there's a lot more fluidity to all truth than grown ups have time or patience to consider.
As a person who loves language, it's thrilling to me to watch Morgan catch on to the magic of storytelling and imaginative play. Moose walk into the house regularly. Baby animals take the shape of rocks she carries around the yard. On our neighborhood walks we stop to visit with bunnies and roast marshmallows. We sit on a board and I'm informed I need to buckle up because the airplane is about to take off.
Even more amazing to me is Morgan's taste in books. Goldilocks, Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Chicken Little--she loves all the old nursery and fairy tales. She likes stories where good and bad are clear, but reality is hazy. "The sky can't fall Mama," she says laughing at Chicken Little. It's fun to speculate that story lives in our DNA, and yet, as I watch Morgan enter her play world, it seems less like speculation and more like reality. I'm enchanted to observe how from our first words we seek story to make meaning of our world. We need stories to make us human; we hunger for them. And somehow that comforts me; gives me hope that through story our empathy grows, and perhaps our tolerance does too.
This is one of our favorite collections!