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.