Chicken Coups and Princess Carriages

This past year was defined by transformation, not only for me but for many others in my life. I wouldn’t have anticipated the change because nothing foreseen prompted it; yet it happened nonetheless. A family event affected me beyond belief and while there were many painful times, the result was self-discovery and growth beyond measurable proportions. For others in my life, the same happened. Making it “through the woods” going through difficult times and learning to cope during those struggles built strength and a better understanding and acceptance of self. Looking at where I began the year to where I am now, I am reminded of other transformations and that nothing is static. 

Life is inherently dynamic

When I reflect upon stories of transformation, I always think of our chicken coup. While PicMonkey Collagepregnant with my son, my husband and I decided we wanted chickens. We loved the idea of fresh eggs anytime we wanted. We imagined saving money and maybe selling eggs; teaching our children where food comes from and hopefully becoming somewhat self-sustainable in our little suburban neighborhood. I spent a lot of time and energy during my pregnancy reading and studying chicken breeds. My husband spent the same amount of time and energy designing and building our small coup. Shortly after getting two small chicks from a local farm, my dog Elli ate them while we were on vacation at Disney World; just broke in and swallowed them whole. Our friend who was house/dog sitting called us on our drive Elli couphome to tell us the news. Elli was not remorseful in the slightest, in fact, she had a proud and arrogant strut for a few days after.

We told our daughter that the chicks missed their mommy and went back to the farm. Within a week, the chicken coup transformed into a princess carriage. In the end, it worked out well, tending to chicks while taking care of a newborn would not have been ideal but the carriage offered my daughter some fun when I was too sleep-deprived to engage in much play.

carriage

Alongside my inner transformation, my children are changing and growing before my eyes. My daughter has been reading to me over the last couple of weeks. Watching her learn to read is hands down one of the most amazing things to witness. Unfortunately, she has also grown out of princesses almost entirely and chooses more “big kid” things to do with her time, so the chicken coup/princess carriage will likely take on new life in the coming months.

My son has transformed from a baby at the beginning of this year to big boy at the end. He is speaking full sentences, can run, jump, climb, sing, dance and is growing out of naps. As I went into his room for the fifth time the other day to convince him to lie down and sleep, I noticed his crib toy hanging on his bed since we first set up his room when I was 8 or 9 months crib toypregnant.  I remembered when the toy arrived in the mail. It was the first item I received for baby #2 and the moment I opened the box, I started crying. I was hormonal and overwhelmed at the idea of having two kids and wondered if I could love them equally. As I stood there looking at the crib toy that is rarely turned on anymore, my thoughts moved to the fact that my son is outgrowing his crib and will likely be in a bed in the coming months. Removing the crib is monumental because it is the end of babyhood and a complete shift into kid-hood. I have his big boy room planned out and while he is just about ready for that transformation, I am not quite there yet. But when I am, I have decided I want to keep the crib because my daughter and my son both spent their babyhood in it. I like to purge many things but some items hold too much sentimental value to let go. I may transform their baby bed in time to something like this that I found on Pinterest:

crib

Life is ever-changing and while I am guilty of holding on to the past and it’s familiarity, I have transformed my thinking this year to accept that there is beauty in change. While ending a chapter may feel sad or difficult at the time and the changes may be painful, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and if we allow it, it may shine brighter than we could ever have imagined.

The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

                                                                         — Winston Churchill

This post is part of The Weekly Writing Challenge: Multimedia Storytelling

23 thoughts on “Chicken Coups and Princess Carriages

  1. Love the princess carriage! Times playing in it will turn into great memories when she grows older.
    It’s funny how we want to see them grow up but we hold on to their babyhood as much as we can. Such a bittersweet post Kerry!

  2. Your husband is super talented to be able to make all of those transformations! I’m sure a princess carriage can be made into a monster truck! 🙂 I’m glad that you have made it through all of the changes this year, change is hard for me, I CAN, but it takes me longer to process sometimes… Okay, all of the time… It warms my heart to see others that have come through a transformation phase and ended up better – just like you!

    • He really is, he should’ve been either an architect or an urban planner (based on our Christmas village..haha) I process big events slowly too but I absolutely love serendipity!

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  4. What a beautiful post Kerry. I love the transformation of the chicken coup into a princess carriage, and can’t wait to see what your husband will come up with next. I also love that you are honouring the old/past while embracing the new/present/change. I suspect your yoga practice has a lot to do with your ability to transform so gracefully.

    • Yes, yoga practice has certainly played an intricate part in my growth this year. I think also allowing transformation to happen came from many difficult times when things didn’t go the way I wanted and there was nothing I could do or say to change it. Instead of staying filled with anxiety and frustration from having zero control, I had to choose to let it go. And once I did, I slept better and felt better and more accepting of myself and others.

  5. oh yeah, much easier said than done and keep in mind this “letting go” was about 8 months in the making. You might know from earlier posts that I suffered from insomnia pretty bad last spring and still have mild anxiety before going to bed at night because it felt so traumatizing. I started yoga late summer as a regular practice in hopes of relieving the insomnia. I now know that I can survive on little sleep (which I knew already from having kids) and that panicking only makes it worse. But “letting go” as a general rule for unpleasant feelings, anger, frustrations, misunderstandings, etc. has been the most helpful.

    • Thanks, I agree, its super cute but not played with as much as hoped. We may get chickens again, we’ll see. I may have to get a puppy soon too to quell my simmering baby fever 😉

  6. When my little guy outgrows his crib, I want to do the same thing!! Transform it into THAT. Too bad I don’t have much skill, but I might try just to hang onto that crib that all 3 of my babies slept in! Great post!

    • Thanks Meredith 🙂 I showed my husband the pic since he’d ultimately be the one re-purposing it, he liked it but stated the obvious that we don’t need another desk/activity table for the kids and in the end, it looks like a crib…which is kind of the point, for mama at least. The crib is staying in one way or another.;)

  7. I love this post! Sadness/hardship as well as early childhood bring SO many changes, don’t they?! My year was pretty full of transformations too (me, hubby, AND kids!) and it’s been a wild ride indeed. 😉
    Aww, so sad about what your dog did! Naughty…but, as you said, there was a silver lining. Thanks for always writing such great articles.

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