How it all started:
EJ (my daughter at age 12): Mommy, I want to build a doll house for my Barbies.
Me: Umm… okay.
EJ: Here’s my vision. It’s all in my head. It’s going to be 4’ x 4’ and—
EJ (big smile): Yes! So, my house will be divided into two parts and each side will have four floors. Oh, and there’ll be an attic. It’s all in my head. Let’s go get the wood. Now!
Me: Wood? You mean cardboard, right?
EJ: ‘Course not, silly. Wood!
I thought she was joking. Or just voicing an idea. But weeks later my daughter was still talking about her Barbie Doll House. One floor would be a spa. Another would be the dining room where Barbie would entertain her friends. Then there would be the master bedroom, the kitchen and dining room, a smaller bedroom for the kids!
I was amazed at the depth of her detail.
To be honest though, the whole idea took me way out of my comfort zone. I had palpitations just thinking about building a house. Out of wood, no less! The thing is that I’m more of a ‘words’ type of gal. I don’t see images the way my daughter does. When I close my eyes there’s darkness. When EJ closes her eyes she sees images, color, detailed pictures. When I think of getting a doll house, my immediate thought is to buy one. Not EJ. Oh no.
My husband insisted she draw a diagram with measurements and specifications.
EJ: No! I don’t need to. It’s all in my head. I can tell the wood cutter exactly what I need.
We insisted though. And I thought that would be the end of it. I was wrong. My12-year old daughter sat down and painstakingly designed, measured and named each of the rooms to her house. (unfortunately that piece of paper got lost so I can’t show it here).
When I realized she was truly serious, I knew that no matter what, we had to get the wood. I had to help her fulfill this dream. How could I do anything else? Up In The Air is precisely about daring to dream and going after what is important. And EJ had proven that building this house was more than just a passing fancy.
My husband, EJ and I spent over two hours at Home Depot buying the wood, showing the guy EJ’s diagram of the house and explaining to him my daughter’s vision. When he’d actually cut the wood and I saw how many parts there were to this house, I almost fainted. My daughter’s eyes were shining brighter than the stars.
First EJ painted the outside of the house.
She glued the sides together.
Then nailed the house into place.
EJ's initial idea was to paint the rooms as well but she had a brainwave. Why paint them all when she could wallpaper some of the rooms using colourful tape. So she conveyed her idea to paper.
And made it so:
What’s a doll’s house without some flexibility. A four foot tall doll house with a one foot attic would have been taller than EJ. So we decided to do away with the attic.
Finally it was done.
To say that I admire my daughter tremendously is a gross understatement. At her age such a concept veered miles away from the far reaches of my overactive imagination.
Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy her accomplishment.
EJ: Hey Mom. My Barbies don’t have any furniture. And what about a garden? And a pool? And…