Pippa ~ The Value Project // Hillsborough, NC

“At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.” ~Shanti

I found the above quote and immediately thought of Pippa. She is a delightful, mischievous, magical being. The air around her is just crackling with excitement and wonder. She seems to know more than she lets on, like she’s been told thousands of amazing secrets and if you’re lucky enough, she’ll let you in on the wonder of it all. I got that chance a few weeks ago. Early Sunday morning, I walked up to the house with the purple door and knocked. I heard tiny running feet and then there was Pippa. She greeted me rather non-nonchalantly, as she was right in the middle of coloring a rather intricate picture of an owl and she has her priorities. 

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Me: “Hey Pippa. How’re you doing?

Pippa: I’m fine. Just coloring.

Me: “What are you coloring?”

Pippa: “An owl. It’s for my mom. She loves owls.”

Me: “Wow. I love the colors that you chose. Your mom’s really going to love that. Do you know why I’m here?”

Pippa: “You’re going to take pictures of me.” (Still coloring)

Me: “I am. I’m going to take some pictures of you and then we’ll just talk for a little bit. Is that okay?”

Pippa: “Sure. (Points to a tent-like structure in the middle of the living room) That is my space fort. You can’t go in there though, because my cat puked in there. I’m allergic to puke!”

I started laughing and I knew the rest of my time with Pippa was going to be awesome. I asked her if she wanted to show me her room. She excitedly bounced off the couch and went running down the hall, because she had bunk beds to show me! The top bunk is apparently her favorite spot. I can’t blame her. I had bunk beds myself growing up and  can totally relate. She scrambled up the ladder with the skill of a spider monkey, talking about the books that covered the end of the bed and the lovely bird mobile hanging from her ceiling. One of the things I love most about the company of children is the non-linear way they carry on conversations. Whatever is on their minds at the time, is what’s shared, often with hilarious results.

Pippa: “I have a friend who says he can jump up to the ceiling and put his milk up on the fan without spilling it. But I’m not sure that’s true…

Pippa: “My favorite place is the hammock, but you DO have to watch out for spiders. We have a lot of spiders here.”

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Pippa led me through the kitchen and out to the back yard, all the while dancing around on her toes. She introduced me to her dog, Frannie, who has a her own special spot on the couch which we can’t really sit in. I also met her two cats, as well as the neighbors cat. We talked about the mint plants and the hammock, what she likes to do everyday. All of a sudden, she remembered that she needed to show me something inside, so away she ran. Of course, I followed. I didn’t want to miss anything.

Pippa: “Mom! Can you help me put on my Elsa dress?? I made up a song and put it on my moms phone. It’s called Let It Go. I can easily find it!”

Ah, Frozen. Pippa bounded off to her room and a few seconds later came back with book in hand. She started pushing buttons and Let It Go started playing. Completely lost in the moment, Pippa began singing along and dancing through the patches of sunlight filtering through the living room windows. Totally magical.

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This whole time, Emily (Pippa’s mom) has been in the kitchen making pancakes for breakfast. I could hear her soft laughter as she listened to Pippa’s narrations coming over her Sunday morning talk radio. Pippa heard the theme music from this particular radio show and offered up her opinion on it. 

Pippa: “That music is NOT music. It’s just something that’s important to my mom. She likes it. It’s just noise to me.”

Me: “So, Pippa. You just had a birthday, right? You’re 5 now?”

Pippa: “Yep. I go to kindergarten now. I get to ride with my friends on the school bus. I missed my mom on the first day, but i like going now. Sometimes. I just like spending time with them. (Mom and Dad.)”

Pippa took off running to the kitchen, apparently in search of a snack. She came back with an orange Bell Pepper, which she then proceeded to eat like an apple. She remembered that she hadn’t finished her picture, so back to the drawing board we went. She was totally happy to have me keep her company while she finished up. I was prepared to head out, but Emily insisted that I stay and have breakfast with them. How do you turn down pancakes, out on the back porch with your new buddy, two cats and a dog? The answer is, you don’t.

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The pancakes were delicious and Emily came out to join us.We talked about The Value Project, with Pippa interjecting facts about her mom, neighbors and pets. As soon as we were finished with breakfast, Pippa offered up her hammock for a little relaxation. “Can we swing in the hammock and have a little chat?” Absolutely. Our chat turned into a tickle/giggle fest as all good hammock sits do. 

Me: “Pippa, do you ever feel special or important?”

Pippa: “I feel important on my birthday and I always feel special. I’m special to my family. Whenever I miss my family, I put my hand on my cheek and remember that my mom loves me.”

Regrettably, I had to get going, despite Pippa’s desire for me to stay and play. She gave me a hug and asked if I was going to be coming back next weekend. If I was, I could totally see her new blue hair! Adorable. Before I could sign off though, I had to experience the space fort. 

Pippa: “5…4…3…2…1… Blast off!! Psssssshhh! (This all came from inside the fort.) I’m an astronaut heading into space. I’m going to Mars. I’m looking for special rocks. Oh no!! It’s moving! The wild Mommy!! One alien: It was big and blue and green. I’m going to fly off and explore later. Oh! And I remembered my toothbrush and space food. Bye Mommy Alien!!!”

And off she flew.

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