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The Many Faces of My Children

Yesterday a friend came out to do some free face-painting. Yes, FREE! I invited a dozen kids to my house, my friend painted their faces for free, and got to take pictures for her look book.

Did I mention the kids got free face painting?

Maddie and Cora were in hog heaven, running wild in the house with all their friends – a pre-cursor to school days to come. Add fanciful face painting, and we had a dozen kids with a dozen wild stories running through the house.

After lunch Maddie and Cora weren’t finished with their storytelling: they created an elaborate set in Cora’s bedroom and enacted a drama that ran for a good hour. I had dragged some clothing storage tubs into a nearby room to work on changing out their closets, and near as I can figure, the story was about two sisters who were separated early in childhood. Maddie (aka Lavender) was taken away but fought her way back to Cora (aka Jewel). However, in a tragic twist, Jewel didn’t recognize her sister Lavender after “lo these many years” (not my words) and didn’t trust the apparent stranger. Lavender was sent sorrowfully away as Jewel wept bitter tears (“I weep bitter tears at the loss”) over her supposedly lost sister.

But so great was Lavender’s love for Jewel that she’d return again and perform one more amazing feat to prove she was Jewel’s sister. After several of these cliff hangers, both girls seemed to sense it was time to move on: Cora, in her bedroom, could be heard to say, “What is this? My heart is telling me that the girl is, indeed, my sister Lavender! Oh, how I rejoice! How I cannot wait until she returns! I will throw her such a party and she will exclaim, ‘O, sister, how happy I am!’”

While Cora was preparing a party, Maddie was moping on the stairs. “I guess I will leave for good; I will never convince my sister that it is I. My heart is heavy as I pack and depart forever. But wait – (she turns) – perhaps I will try one more time. She can merely reject me again.”

I SO wish I had audio taped that.

When the curtain finally came down on that drama, to both girls’ satisfaction (and, I’ll confess, a mother who ran in shouting, “Oh, look! It is my two long-lost daughters! I thought I’d never find you again! I was kidnapped when you were babies and dumped in the Serengeti plains and had to battle cheetahs to make my way back to you!” at which point both girls enthusiastically went along with the script deviation and raced to my embrace) the girls were happy, but still not finished for the day.

Maddie had a friend over for a sleepover who thankfully has the same kind of imagination as my kids. After dinner, they dressed up as Magicians of the World – in an Indian costume, an Egyptian costume, and a lavish European ballgown – and performed an international magic show. The girls looked up how to say “hello” and “good-bye” in Hindi and Arabic, to make the show more realistic.

And let me tell you, you’ve never seen a good magic show until you’ve seen a six-year-old dressed as Cleopatra come out and say, “Salaam alaikum! I will make this card disappear!”

Seriously, who needs television?


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