The other evening there was a unexpected knock on the door and when I opened it there stood three boys from about ages 7-10 trying to sell things to raise money for school. The eldest boy was clearly the leader; he spoke first, he stood tall, and he seemed very boyish. The middle one stood quietly beside the eldest, holding props as the first one spoke. The youngest boy was different; as the other two spoke he kept popping in and out from behind, trying to look into my house.
After I told them I didn’t want to purchase anything and shut the door, I heard the youngest say, “It’s like magic in there!” The earnest excitement of it made me open the door back up and say, “do you want to see some more?”
All he could do was nod with a big grin.
I kept the front door open and had the boys come in. Because it was just before supper time, I had the candles lit, the windows open for a breeze, tea set brewing on the table and glossy mags on the couch. They peered around the living room, at my books, at my art, my dress form, my early 1900’s camera and so on. And whilst inside the older two were relatively quiet (except for when they saw the camera or some other gadget) but the youngest kept saying, “wow, so pretty!”
After about 5 minutes the boys left but just before I shut the door I whispered to the youngest, “If you want to be a decorator or designer when you grow up, know that that’s totally OK. And in fact, you’ll have more fun and make more money than selling supplies.”
He looked at me with a big grin and shook his head yes like he understood. I so hope he did.