The other day Harper declared Malka to be her best, best friend. This was after some quality time spent engaged in Harper’s favorite friend-activity, namely, holding hands and running and falling down. Just like true best friends, they spend a lot of time being sort of awful to each other. But lately an amazing thing has happened. On a playdate Malka’s mother (the accomplished poet and YA author Carley Moore, who also makes a killer smoothie) and I realized we hadn’t heard from the girls in a while. After a moment of cold dread, we found them happily playing together in Malka’s sweet little room. After two and a half years of parallel play interrupted now and then by knock-down-drag-out brawls, this is a very thrilling developmental milestone. Malka is an older woman, having already turned 3, and I think her maturity might be rubbing off on not-quite-two-and-a-half Harper.
I believe the sweetness of Malka’s room has something to do with their congenial play. There is just something about this room (and the whole apartment) that feels like home, that reminds me of what I loved about being a child and my own room growing up– a relaxed, homey warmth.
Here’s what Carley has to say about the 9×12 room and how it came together: “My mom, Judy Haller of Jamestown, New York, made both of the quilts. The purple one she made for Malka when she was born and it’s made from fabrics that we’re designed to look like childrens’ fabrics from the 1940s. I love some of those patterns–the tiny kittens and the hearts, very retro.”
” The second one (the red and blue one), my mom made last year for Malka at Christmas. I love the reds and blues and that there is a different panel for every month. I come from a long-line of quilt makers–most of the women in my family quilt (my mom, my aunts, my grandma) so it’s special to have these in Malka’s room. Plus, they are so one-of-a-kind–the quilter’s vision is always so interesting to me, kind of like a writer’s voice.”
“Shells–Malka loves shells and jewelry. We try to arrange those on her dresser, and she rearranges often. She sometimes tries to sleep with her shells she loves them so much.” [Ed. note: Also My Little Pony! Hello, wave of nostalgia! YES!]
“The new bookcase. It’s a piece of crap from Ikea–a Billy to be exact. I don’t want to knock the Billy though. We have many of them in our house full of books. I always say that I won’t buy another, but they are so cheap and they fit a lot of stuff. Now Malka has some bins for tiny things like cars, paper dolls, and beads, and all of her books and puzzles fit in one place. Yay!”
I think it only fair to note that this room was spic-and-span when we arrived, but the girls immediately pulled down one of the toy bins and got to work making music and playing. I’m telling you, this room WORKS!
You know what else I think helps make this home so cozy and warm? The excellent design choice of cats draped luxuriously here and there.
So there you have it. And now, let us hold hands and run in the fields together. Metaphorically, I mean, of course.