The house in the forest

I invite you to explore and journey through this new project I’ve created for myself. To learn about my Big Nugget Adventures project, click here.


There was a big brother who had a little sister. Big brother, Xocho, and little sister, Jade, were going a little stir-crazy from being indoors all day. They decided to take a walk through the forest, which was located about a block from their home where they lived with their mom and dad. This forest was unlike any other in the world. This forest had a secret entrance and ran on the imagination of anyone who entered it.

Xocho and Jade notified their dad that they were headed into the forest. Dad replied, “Don’t go too far. Be safe and make sure to tell Mom to come home if you see her. Dinner will be ready soon.”

Mom had entered the forest early morning. She likes to wake up before everyone else to get a hike in before beginning her work for the day. However, her imagination tends to take over and she forgets to come home. Dad and the kids think she has a second home in there. How else can someone hang out in the forest for hours without eating?

Xocho and Jade headed out to the forest hand in hand. They always stuck together, always had each other’s back, so they never feared anything as long as they were together. Five minutes into their walk, Jade decided to start a game of tag. She ran off and teased her brother to chase her. Xocho ran after his sister and traded off the tagging responsibilities to her, then Jade back to him.

Jade ran as fast and as far as she could because if there was one thing she enjoyed more than being in the forest with her brother, it was not being “it”. Jade ran far enough to give herself a chance to stop and take a breath. She also ran far enough for her imagination to begin its work in the forest. She stopped at a house made of “sorpresas”, or what everyone else knows as gummy fruit candy. These were Xocho and Jade’s favorite!

Xocho finally caught up to Jade only to find her chomping through the house’s door. “Jade what are you doing?!” Xocho asked her. Jade took a minute to finish what she had in her mouth—her lips sticky from the candy—and then replied, “Xocho! Sarporesas! Come and indulge with me!” Xocho wasn’t convinced that this was a good idea and insisted they turn back to be home in time for dinner. “You’re ruining your appetite, Jade!” But there was no response. Jade had eaten the entire door and her foot steps could be heard from the inside of the house. Xocho followed after her and found her touching, tasting, and poking everything she could get her hands on. “If you can’t beat them, join them, right?” Xocho said to himself, so he reached for Jade’s hand, and again the kids found themselves hand in hand exploring this figment of Jade’s imagination.

Approaching what seemed to be the kitchen, an exhausted (and scary if you ask me) looking woman came out crying at the top of her lungs. She startled both of the children, but after their initial flinch, Xocho and Jade held onto each other’s hands. They held on even tighter in acknowledgment that they weren’t alone. They had each other’s back, and they always stayed true to this.

Children learn best through play, and Xocho and Jade were proof of this. They had played heroes and villains enough to come up with and practice these conceptual villain-fighting moves. Their catalogue was full of options. They decided to go with what they called the “Slingshot Hug”. It went something like this…Jade curled into Xocho as if they were dancing salsa, and as Jade twirled away from Xocho, she hooked onto the mean and exhausted looking woman standing near them. Xocho and Jade’s free hands linked around the woman and trapped her in a hug. They squeezed so hard that the woman’s crying turned into laughter, her puffy and wrinkly skin lifted up over her eyes. The woman was their mom!

“MOM!” The kids exclaimed. Relieved, Mom gave her kids a squishy hug back then plopped on the floor. She explained that she had come out into the forest per usual. She had lost track of time while imagining this house made of sorpresas. She had imagined the house for them. However, she had exhausted herself because she had gotten very little sleep the night before.

“Mom, you’ve got to take better care of yourself!” The kids urged their mom while offering her a massage. (These kids were the best at giving massages!) “You two are so right and so wise! I will do my best to get more rest. And thank you for treating me with love even when I was acting ugly!”

In case you’re wondering, they made it home just in time to enjoy dinner with Dad.

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Jade (10 mo.) and Xocho (3 years)
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