"Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than a magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration." —Charles Dickens
Let’s pretend it’s Tuesday. And while we’re pretending, let’s imagine I’m on the ball. After a bevy of new reviews, Rachel’s prophetic words “don’t get used to it” crashed home. So please pardon us while we wallow in our blogging inefficiency. Better yet, never mind us; let’s talk kid stuff even though it’s Thursday, not Tuesday.
I’m trying to raise children that don’t have to recover from their childhood. My daughter Abigail was a unicorn for Halloween one year, when she was just 3 or 4. A glittered alicorn head cap atop a totally white faux-fir body suit, and we’d have to coax the magic off her every couple days. She wore it to the Beary Fun pre-school, in the backyard to play on her little tikes toys, to the dinner table, and at nap time—she even attempted to worship Jesus in the church house in her mythical creature costume. Little did I realize then that Abbey’s innocent obsession with a white-horned horse would morph into one of my favorite memories of her when she was little. Her predilection captured the magicalness of childhood, the magicalness of her. Turns out that Laurel Snyder’s Orphan Island also catches the bewitching aspects of being a blissfully happy kid.
The enchanted island is home to nine (rotating) orphans who live in harmony with subdued animals, abundant fresh foods, a sky filled with dancing shapes, and wind that cradles the children in safe arms. Balance abounds. And the orphans, devoid of physically present parents, fill up on love, laughter and joy. There is no mistaking the familiar and comfortable feeling of home on Orphan Island. Until there is a disruption in the balance. My boys just had to learn what would happen next and begged for more chapters, for more time on Orphan Island. I was curious too. Props to Snyder who gives orphans a voice—to send the message that love and home are, in fact, synonymous.