A Pottery Barn Kids catalogue came in the mail yesterday. I always love looking at the catalogues, and I really love looking at the merchandise in the store. I love all the Star Wars stuff they have for boys, and the Dr. Seuss stuff is pretty cool, too. I’d love to decorate my kids’ rooms to look like a PBKids catalogue page. I’d love to have a playroom for the kids like in the catalogue. The play kitchen they have?? SO awesome. My kids like going to the store just to play with the play kitchen there. You don’t need to be a girl to have fun in the kitchen. 🙂 I was looking at some of the other furniture they offer in the catalogue, and I found this awesome media cabinet thing. I can’t find it online, otherwise I’d give you the link. Anyway, it’s perfect for one of those flat screen monstrosities that I’d just kill to have. It has a row of drawers (that fit CDs and DVDs) and six doors. The two sets of doors on the outside are actually pull-out file drawers, and the set of doors on the inside opens to have pull-out media shelves (perfect for the DVD player, XBox, and Wii… which I will hopefully have someday). There are now drool marks on that page of the catalogue.
After dinner last night, Ches and I were sitting by the patio door, watching the boys play in the yard. I call it a yard, but really it’s a big strip of dirt. The boys had two little shovels and a sand sifter, a little wagon, and a large blue bucket. I was showing the new finds of the catalogue to Ches and kind of wishing I had a flat screen TV or enough money to decorate Aiden’s room with the cool space picture (complete with little LED lights) and a large wooden light sabre, when I looked over at my boys.
They were running and laughing, shoveling dirt and throwing it at the wall, pouring dirt and mud into the wagon and the bucket, and just having the best time of their young lives. Their hands were dirty, but their faces shone.
I threw the catalogue on the floor. I don’t want that stuff. I don’t need that stuff. We have dirt. Why do I think I need to fill my house with stuff? The kids are just as happy playing with their plastic shovels that cost $1 at Target than with the $800 kitchen set from Pottery Barn.
I have recently been introduced to the book Roxaboxen by Alice McLerran. This picture book is essentially the true story of a group of children in Yuma, Arizona that lived several generations ago. These children played in the desert and made a villiage out of what was there in the desert: rocks and dirt and pieces of glass… They played there so much that the area today still exists. It is now a park in Yuma where you can go play. The kindergarten teacher at the school where I work told me about this book, and I found it and read it last week. Each class at my school has their own garden to plant things and to play in. The kindergartener’s garden is really set up after Roxaboxen. In fact, the author came to my school a few years ago just to see the Roxaboxen at this school. I was in the garden with the kindergarteners on Thursday and I watched as they dug in the sand, made a river, exchanged shiny rocks (their money), “painted” with water, and overall had the most productive half hour of their day.
When I was a kid, I understood the concept of Roxaboxen. You played outside with your friends until the street lights came on. You played with what was out there. No cell phones. No XBox. No iPods. Just rocks and dirt and trees and grass and flowers and sticks and weeds and old boxes and cans and your bikes and maybe a soccer ball… and your imagination, of course. My children have not heard of Roxaboxen. Yet. But they have their own Roxaboxen in their minds, and soon our backyard will be Roxaboxen.
Because really, what else do you need?