Charly is an artist and possesses a clear vision and direction for her projects long before she picks up the pen, or makes the first cut, or molds the first shape out of an unformed mass of clay. So it came as no surprise to me when she laid out a detailed plan for how this years ginger bread house was going to be made.
In the Painter tradition, we typically start by buying the prefab house that comes with frosting, ginger house parts, and a variety of stale candy neatly wrapped in plastic inside a cardboard box which is decorated with pictures of the most idealistic ginger bread houses that one could imagine. This box usually sits on our counter for a good week or so before we can find a big enough chunk of time to do it right. Charly had ample time to study the elaborate designs that adorn the box in order to develop a mental picture of what our house was going to look like when all was said and done.
Then came Robby..and then...Maddy, with other ideas, fun ideas. I began to worry when Robby came out of the kitchen with frosting dripping down his arms. My concern grew when he started painting the girls faces with said frosting while the ginger bread house started falling into a state of disrepair. I watched Charly watch her vision turn into a dilapidated ginger bread slum and to my great surprise, a smile was on her face the whole time. Even though our house has caved in sides and one giant oozing dollop of frosting on the roof with a couple odd candies arranged with no precision, all three of the kids could not be more satisfied. It warmed me inside and out to see them laughing and bonding while crafting the most unsightly creation this earth has ever seen.