For almost a year now the pandemic has kept most of us close to home at one time or another. Or maybe multiple times, since it surges and then settles down and surges again. I’m aware that homes all over the world and even in our own neighborhoods undoubtedly vary widely in form, color and size. But our homes are our shelters, hopefully our safe havens. So I decided to do an episode on the different types of houses people live in, as well as different building materials and colors. I enlarged the idea to include the ‘homes’ that different animals inhabit.
I put out a lot of my Wizard of Oz collectibles, including the ruby slippers that my daughter Katie made me literally a sequin at a time. I have a couple of snow globes, Christmas ornaments, and other Oz-themed items. I have a stuffed Toto and all of the characters in tiny Madame Alexander dolls courtesy of MacDonald’s happy meals many years ago. I used this display to introduce what Dorothy learns from her experiences in Oz: there’s no place like home. I have some books I used to read during my nanny days about different kinds of houses including igloos, log cabins, mud huts, and more. One is about the colors of houses and another about ‘homes’ in which animals might live. I read two poems, one about the animals and the other about people houses.
I wanted the little ones to be aware of the many kinds of houses people live in, and then make the point that it doesn’t matter what your house looks like; if the people inside love you and you, them, then you’re home. The buildings, colors, etc. don’t matter. Acceptance should extend to people who live in trailers and log cabins as well as castles.
The news is telling us that domestic abuse is on the rise because families have literally been locked in together to stay safe from the virus. Unfortunately, safety can become dangerous, especially if the situation was already tense. I was coming into this topic with the idea of diversity. I couldn’t assure them that home is always safe. But, Pollyanna that I am, I still believe that for the majority of people, it really is love that makes a house a home, no matter the house. ❤️