Playing with Elsa Lego Character

“Mom.  Did you know that you can eat snowflakes?”

This is the first thought that was expressed to me when I went to get my youngest daughter this morning.

What a poetic way to say something.  Seeing the world through a child’s eyes.  I had visions of Peter walking through his Snowy Day, packing snow round and tight and putting it in his pocket, only to find out later that it has mysteriously disappeared.

I imagine Tess must have had some sort of dream about snow.  I picture her inside Ezra Jack Keats’ The Snowy Day, with its beautiful colors of orange and pink and dark blue, bright against the white of the snow and the red of Peter’s snowsuit.  His little peaked hat atop of his head.  Making their toes point this way.  Making their toes point that way.  Finding a stick and hitting a tree.  “Plop.” The snow falls on their heads.  They fall down in a fit of giggles and wonder.  “Do you want to make snow angels?” Peter whispers to Tess.  “Yes!” Let’s make some snow angels!” Tess yells.  Tess and Peter, friends, walking off together into the deep, deep snow.

How many times have we read that book?  Over and over again.  Not just in winter, but sometimes in the middle of a hot summer day.  Sometimes the board book version would just appear and we would read it.  Sometimes we would be at the library and notice it mixed in with the newer titles.  An old friend. We’d choose it.  It’s a happy warm place of memories.

                                                    **************

“So, I guess that the snow would probably melt when it goes onto your tongue, right?” I ask her.

“Yes.  Yes,” she replies thoughtfully.

I have to ask her.  “Did you have a dream about snow?  What made you think about it this morning?”  I’m secretly congratulating myself on all of the books and experiences I’ve shared with my children.  The Snowy Day, Owl Moon, Brave Irene, and bundled up walks outside with snow blustering through the air….

“Mom, you know that show with my doll, Willa? What’s it called?”

Wellie Wishers,” I say, crestfallen.

(Can we enter a judgement free zone for a moment? Ok, then.)

Wellie Wishers are a new group of dolls made by the American Girl company.  They are a little smaller and their target audience is a bit younger than the original dolls.  Each doll has a different style but they all wear Wellie boots.  Willa is one of the dolls – she is really cute with strawberry blonde hair and a love of the outdoors.  According to AmericanGirl.com, “Willa has a love for animals. She’s sure to be the first one up a tree—and the last to turn away a furry friend.”

But that’s not all. The Wellie Wishers have their very own show on Amazon.  Being an avid  Amazon Prime consumer, I discovered the show one day while looking for another show to show my daughters.  (Again, please don’t judge me!  I was just trying to do some laundry!)

“Yea.  Wellie Wishers.  In that show they were eating snowflakes on their tongues.”

Of course.  Always a show to give us ideas.  I’m briefly disappointed.  Especially being a reading teacher.  I’m forever trying to read the right books with my girls, trying to introduce them to the titles that come from renowned authors.  Award winners, diverse characters, life lessons, beautiful illustrations, lovely language.

Yet, somehow, Ariel, Belle, Kion, Catboy and Wonder Woman always seem to sneak in along with my good intentions.

We go to the library.  I have all these ideas about books I’ve shared with my students or that I’ve read about in Horn Book.

We leave with Dora, Elsa and the Paw Patrol.

What’s a reading teacher and mother of two young girls in 2017 to do?

I admit it.  Not only am I a wobbly teacher, I’m a wobbly parent.  I guess I’m still a bit shocked that my husband, Matt, and I have the responsibility to actually raise two human beings. I know what my pose should be and am ready to hold it for a long time, but then I wobble when I least expect it. I guess that this, like anything else, is about balance.

 

©Stephanie McLaughlin 2017

Stephanie McLaughlin is a teacher, writer, wife and mom to two young daughters. She recently moved to the Bay Area from Massachusetts. Back in Massachusetts, Stephanie worked as a 3rd grade teacher and elementary reading specialist for 14 years. She is starting to look for a new job…

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