Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Trouble Chair



When my girls were little we had a beautiful old chair with a needlepoint cushion that was their official "Trouble Chair." When you stretched that little toe over the line, you were honored with a stint sitting on that chair.

My younger daughter, Alicia, spent many afternoons and mornings and evenings and nights plopped on the Trouble Chair. She was never a mean kid - to the contrary! She was extremely sweet and funny. However, she never really seemed to catch on to why certain things would not be a good idea. To help her think more clearly, she had to spend some time with her bottom (perhaps stinging and perhaps not, depending on what she did) snuggled onto the Trouble Chair.

A lot of things happened on the Trouble Chair. Alicia carved her name into our piano one day when she sat on the Trouble Chair (and then said her sister had done it... yeah, Ashley carved Alicia's name into the piano... that's diabolical!). She captured and held our old mean cat, Comet, for hours on that chair. Poor Comet felt as much in trouble as Alicia did. Alicia squirmed on that chair. She squalled on that chair. She pouted on that chair. She kicked her feet and wiggled from side to side on that chair. She grew up on that chair.

When she left home, she took the Trouble Chair with her. She had earned it.

Trouble Chairs are for dreaming and planning and feeling persecuted on. Trouble Chairs are for wishing for things to be different and planning for things to be different. You sit there being misunderstood and mistreated and you sit there being loved and adored. You sit there thinking everyone is clueless and you sit there because you are clueless. You sit there wanting time to pass and with time passing more quickly than you know is possible. One day you sit there for the last time and you don't even realize it has happened.

We made a Trouble Chair for the shop and sold it last week. It had a little bird perched on a branch for you to whisper your troubles to (in case you don't have a cat you can coerce). In the little stool we secreted a pair of wings. After all... Trouble Chairs are really meant to allow you to fly on your own.

And then one day you do.

I love you, Alicia. Fly, fly, fly.

Mommy

4 comments:

Ashley said...

I'm pretty sure that piano story was the other way around. I was always told I was the culprit in the story....

Josh and Alicia said...

Ashley WAS the culprit in that story!!! Not me!!!

I was telling somebody about the trouble chair you made last week... she thought she'd make one too.

That poor trouble chair is now being used as a step stool for one short and one ginormous dog.

Sierra said...

hahahhaha, aunt donna...as we speak blake is listening to an anatomy lecture on fast forward (cause you can still understand it that way)...and i have been laughing out loud at your musings for the past five minutes. man! you sold that chair! i LOVED that chair! i secretly longed for it...but i have no little keaster's to punish, so i'll have to wait for a trouble chair of my own. haha. i love you girls.
-sierra

*also, you sold the wings! awesome! did someone buy it for a house or a business?

Linda Radford said...

You are pretty funny, just like me.