I had always wanted to build, with wood, plastic, or paper, but I was never good at it. I do not have a creative bone in my body and I never did well in art class. I can copy other people's work satisfactorily and color inside the lines, but I could not think something up or draw imaginatively. And while my dad was skilled at artisan woodwork and at one time made a living out of crafting the tiniest details onto pieces of solid wood, that talent did not transfer over to me. Instead, I grew fond of the kitchen and express my creativity there. But with two little ones who still think I know best, I thought I would step out of my comfort zone and put JR's lesson into practice:
"Get me the baskets of books, Jannah-Rae," I asked. "What for, Mama?" she replied. "We are going to build a city!" I beamed. And with that we set out to work.
The country then shifted its composition. Soon, the train station was gone, replaced by a boat house. The people now owned a car for short drives and a boat for longer ones. They lived on a lake. The animals no longer needed a barn and instead just hung out in the backyard. There were ducks on the roof and people inside the house; the door was gone. JR introduced the castle and claimed it an extension to the house. The country was versatile and dynamic. Every time JR got a design idea she implemented it on the ground, building up and out, adding people and people and animals, landscape and embellishments, shifting structures and removing some altogether.
She built, Yousef populated and together they tipped over the fragile structure.