Goldilocks and the Three Bears and Me.
(all images from a 1974 story book)
Once upon a time, there was a family of three bears. They lived in a happy little home together, and each day they would go for a morning walk while waiting for their breakfast to be just right for eating.
On one particular morning, a little girl named Goldilocks (named for her lovely blond curls) discovered the home of the three bears. She knocked on the door, but no one answered. Instead, the door opened easily, because the bear family had left it unlocked.
Goldilocks went inside, looking around for who might be there, but found no one. She did, however, find some breakfast porridge all laid out, as though it was just for her. The largest bowl was too hot, the medium bowl was too lumpy, but the smallest bowl tasted just right. And so she ate it all.
Being curious, and a little worn out from her adventure so far, Goldilocks looked around for a place to sit for a while. She soon discovered several chairs to choose from. The first was too large, the second was too squishy, but the smallest chair was just right. And so she sat. Unfortunately, what felt right, wasn't, and the chair broke into several pieces.
Now she was more tired than ever, and looked for a place to rest. Upstairs, were three very comfortable-looking beds, and Goldilocks was certain that a nap would make her feel better. The first was too hard, the second was too soft, but the third bed was just right. And so she slept.
In the meantime, the bear family returned to their breakfast. The papa bear noticed that his porridge had been tasted, as did the mama bear. Of course, the baby bear had no porridge to discover at all! They then found their chairs moved and sat in, and the baby's chair was broken in pieces! At last, they went upstairs. The blankets were ruffled bunched up, and baby bear's blankets had a very strange lump in them!
The bears weren't too sure what they should do, but they didn't have to do anything. Goldilocks suddenly woke up from her nap and was so startled by the bear's presence that she started to run from the house. But the bears stopped her, and told her that she should visit again. But next time, perhaps it could be when they were home to welcome her themselves.
The story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears goes back many, many years, and has many variations (the newest being mine!). You can read some of the history here. One of the traditional "lessons" to be learned from this tale is that you shouldn't go poking around where you shouldn't (not to mention that one should always lock one's door!). But I got to thinking about this from another angle...
What was it about this home that made Goldilocks feel so comfortable that she would walk in and make herself at home? And what can we do to create that same atmosphere?
Now, I don't recommend letting people come and go as they please in your house. But can folks drop by and stay when they need to? Do you invite friends and new acquaintances over for dinner? As an adult living with my family, and being somewhat of an introvert at times (yes, really...), this can be difficult for me. And yet I know that I want to have a home where people can come and be. For now, I need to do my part in keeping the house ready for visitors, and when I have my own home, I'll be even more ready for Goldilocks...