Peace and art at home



My daughters have just discovered Anne of Green Gables – the movie, not the book (yet). We have the books, but I wanted them to see the world of Anne Shirley. This I think is one of the best Canadian exports/legacies, such a lovely story of a strong-willed and imaginative girl. My girls already have a bit of Anne Shirley in them. We have wild imaginations, great dreams, theatrical scenes – from playing dress up to pretend theatre and role playing, dramatic meltdowns and quiet reading time in this house.


Megan Follows as Anne of Green Gables


The later movies of Anne of Green Gables shows Anne and Gilbert married but separated by World War 1. Now, though my girls are exposed to hundreds of GI Joes everyday, they haven’t really watched any war movies. I sort of slipped thinking it was harmless to see war scenes in Anne of Green Gables. There were no gory scenes but they showed families being separated and a few explosions. While watching, Soph had endless questions. “How does war start?”, “What can I do to stop war?”, “Is there still war today?”, “Why did daddy go to war?” Yes, my husband used to “go to war” but not to fight. He told stories – Afghanistan, Palestine, Mindanao.

We tried our best to explain war to her. That her lolo was born during World War 2. That daddy had the important job of telling war stories, in the hopes that it would bring out the truth and eventually stop war. Then I also told her that here in the Philippines, there are areas still under conflict and children still need protection. Then she asked, “What can a little girl do to stop war? Can I make artwork then you take a picture of it and put it in your website so many people can see that a child wants war to end?” I’m serious, she said all that. I have it on tape. Like I said, Anne Shirley.


This is Sophia’s art work. She said, “I’m very lucky to have a mom with a job like yours. You have a website. People can read our messages.” Anne Shirley…


And just to make her message clear, she wrote.


Meanwhile, Lily and Stella are about to celebrate their birthdays in two weeks. As usual, I am not prepared. I insist on having two separate little parties even though their birthdays are two days apart. Lily is turning 5 and Stella is turning 2. They like different things. They’re different people. So I think they should have their own special days. Stella likes dancing and music, and on the commercial side, she loves Toy Story. Lily is still in her pretty princess mode. She loves frills and prettiness. We are thinking of Fancy Nancy or if all else fails (like I really run out of time, Barbie). These are going to be little parties in their school, nothing big. But I still want it to be lovely. Sigh.


Lily really is turning 5 soon. I remember waiting for her to be born… in Flickr. Oh she has this thing about dressing herself everyday. She styles herself then comes to me to take her picture. Everyday. Then after she poses, she says, “Is that fashion, Mommy?”


This is Lily’s world. She’s all about playing with little toys. Playmobil is one of her favourites. We get them from Hobbes and Landes.


She makes little scenarios in her castle.


She even made a pretend “meadow.” We are running out of space, so we allow the kids to play in the formal living room.


The meadow and the castle.


It’s lovely to have these toys with old-world feel – complete with castles and long dresses. They loved Anne of Green Gables so I figured they’d love the movie Miss Potter. After all, The Tale of Peter Rabbit is one of our favourite reads. I had almost forgotten about the movie. They loved it.


This was a great find! Beatrix Potter’s journal. I found this at the bookstore a few years ago.


It’s filled with beautiful pages of what Beatrix Potter’s journal would look like.


It has the story of her life, her sketches and how she got her book published.


Lovely inserts that fold out and open up.


And samples of colour separation.


Beatrix Potter’s journal plus all the Peter Rabbit books we had, inspired Sophia to write a “book” when she was just 6 years old. National Bookstore sent them Moleskine diaries and each kid filled them with stories and drawings.


Sophia wrote “The Contin” of Petter Rabbit. Her imagination made her think of what would have happened to Peter the next day.


I treasure these and Lily’s drawings. Now Stella is following her Ate’s footsteps.


It’s easy actually. Instead of iPads and iPhones, we bring crayons and pencils to restaurants. That’s how it all started with Lily and Soph. And then of course when all else fails, we bring out the iPad.

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