Thursday, April 18, 2013

a dancer with bruised knees

Imagine travelling before the 1960s, when people carried suitcases! There's such romance in the click of the clasps, the tiny key hole, and the little rack on which to suspend clothes on hangers. Imagine travelling with clothes on hangers! I have a stack of these old cases, and my girls have taken to playing with them.

I want to go where she's going...a place where essentials include a top made of gold coins, a silver shawl, things made of lame and sequins and beads and fringe. And wings and a wand. She tells me ballet school is her destination.

She decides at the last minute that packing a feather pillow makes her suitcase too heavy, and shifts her clothes into a smaller case covered in old stickers from France, Spain, Switzerland, Portugal.

I kiss her goodbye and wish her well, and even though ballet school is just in the kitchen, I feel a twinge of trepidation at the thought of her heading out the door for real someday, a back pack full of dreams and the things she finds essential (even though she assures me today that she will work as an ice cream girl and will live with her mom and dad forever).

 The night before she leaves, I'll slip courage, curiosity, common sense, and a kiss into it to send her on her way.

But for now, I'll follow her into the kitchen, where I'll be magically transformed from mama to ballet teacher.


  1. so sweet! and those old suitcases are so much more evocative and romantic than the strange space age things we have now. Your's is especially lovely with the old stickers - I can just imagine the previous traveller heading down the Nile! Enjoy your day :-)

  2. I think there's a little bit of fire in Margot that isn't quite as evident in your other kids :) At least that's how she comes across in blog posts ;)

  3. Maybe you and this girl's aunts can pack their own backpacks and follow along behind her when she heads out into the world. Not too close...just a block or so behind, keeping watch....:)

  4. What an amazing suitcase! So your girl wears dance leotards and snow boots too?! mine like to switch it up with rain boots too.

  5. I love old suitcases. We have a small one here that was my great aunt's. It has a big mirror attached to the inside it and it smells of perfume....just like she used to. Lydia loves to put her things in it and carry it around. Just this morning she decided to pull it out again and when she opened it she was delighted to find her half eaten chocolate Easter bunny in it!

  6. She really, really, really melts my heart. In every photo I see of her, truly. And I am really happy she is going to live with you forever. She's a good girl ;)

    Have a great weekend!

    ~ Paula


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