My secret house
One of my favorite childhood books happened to belong to my mother.
Today I read it to my children. Its simple message was magical to me and I made sure to find a secret place that would last me into adulthood … it happens to be in another state, but that makes it even more special.
A Little House of Your Own
by Beatrice Schenk De Regniers, 1954.
Everyone has to have a little house of his own.
Every boy has to have his own little house.
Every girl should have a little house all to herself.
Of course you live in a house with your mother and father.
But that isn’t what I mean. That isn’t what I mean at all.
This is what I mean …
When I was a little girl, my mother had a dining room table.
It was a round table with a big white tablecloth on it.
When I was a little girl, I lived under the dining room table.
Not all of the time of course. Just sometimes.
And the story goes on to describe all kinds of secret houses and quiet places where children can get away by themselves. Even moms and dads have secret places, it professes, like when Dad is reading his newspaper and you can’t see his face and you don’t want to disturb him. Dad is in his secret house.
So I ask you … where is your secret space?
How do you feel when you’re there?
And why don’t you go there more often?
Just something to think about.
Your own little house doesn’t have to have windows with curtains
or a chimney
or a door.
A big umbrella makes a fine house.
A secret house just for you.
A cave behind the bushes is a good little house.
No one can find you there.
The story concludes with an important observation …
When you are in your own little house no one should bother you.
And if you should be walking near somebody’s little house
to be very polite
I’m in my secret place today … I’ll be here for a week or so.
When you have a chance, go to your secret place.