Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Puppet Master

I recently signed Sara up for a puppet making class. She thinks she has the world on a string already so I thought it would be fun for her. When Christian and I dropped her off, the instructor invited Christian to stay and participate. He was beyond giddy for a chance to run with the big dogs. He was confused when he saw a pile of mismatched socks on the table. "Mommy, did you bring our socks to share?". Both kids jumped right in, making mouths, choosing eyes, noses, ears, beards, and eyebrows. Sara's puppet is elaborate and fancy. She has a ponytail, bright red lips, and feather eyebrows. And she is not complete yet. I'm guessing she will have a whole outfit with accessories. Her puppet is named Nature Girl. She loves fashion and saves any animal in trouble. She can fly, swim and climb trees. Christian spent more time choosing, discarding and rearranging his puppet. By the end of class, they got to name their puppets and create entire personalities, including voices. Christian's puppet is named Grumpy, after my father. He is 624 years old. He is a superhero. He can fly, fight bad guys, shoot fire and make it rain and snow. Silly me, I though my dad's only superpowers were reciting random bits of Shakespeare and letting the kids stay up too late. My kids and their imaginations never cease to amaze me. They have these incredible minds that soak in everything around them. They told amazing stories with their puppets. I was concerned Sara would be upset about her little "bother" encroaching on her turf but she was so excited for him to be allowed to participate. She encouraged him, helped him choose pieces, and even made suggestions. She looked out for him in class. I was proud of her. Every time he added a piece to his puppet, he had to show her and ask her what she thought. She was very supportive and encouraging. When the puppets got to "talk" to each other, Sara picked Christian to talk with. He was thrilled. They had a long, rambling conversation. Their puppets joined forces to embark on a mission to save the world from bad guys. It was nice to see her being considerate and encouraging. He loved being a part of her world. He often gets dragged along to Girl Scout meetings, art classes and science fairs. He felt like a big kid doing something she was doing, too. The 4 year age difference can be a challenge. She is bored with things he likes to do. He has no desire to play "girly" games with her. Occasionally, we hit a happy middle ground. And it involves socks, a glue gun and alter-egos.

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