So on a lighter note…when I was 6, I was rushed to the ER for a very peculiar predicament. I know you’re thinking life or death emergency, but calm your nerves and put on a smile, we are about to go for a wild ride!
Preface: Of all the gifts I have ever received in my childhood, my favorite gift was a 5 gallon ice cream bucket decorated with glued felt on the outside. I remember having to really pry the top open carefully using my fingertips to inch my way around, lifting as I went. Finally, I peeled the plastic teeth apart to reveal the most magical sight. The old 5 gallon jug of ice cream was repurposed as an art studio on the go. It was filled with every art supply a kid could imagine; pad of paper, watercolors, crayons, markers, glue, scissors… GASP!
Over time that 5 gallon jug that went everywhere with me. I was never without it. However, now its a bucket filled with the equivalent of crayon quicksand made of paperless wax nubbins.
And the smell…was HEAVEN!
So, fast forward to me spending some time at my grandmother’s house approximately 6 years old. I am sprawled out on the green shag carpet (circa 1979) with a sketch pad and a brand new box of crayons to add to my hoard. The 64 pack with the built-in sharpener…AHHHH…in my world, that was the equivalent of the golden ticket to the Wonka Factory.
All the tools I needed to make the pages come alive and keep me occupied in wonderment for hours. Now, at this precise moment my 6 year old brain felt a booger. I can see you smiling…what would you do? Time to strategize. I realized I had to make a choice. I looked at the box of all the beautiful new crayons and had pick the “one.” You know, the sacrificial pawn? It was SKY BLUE…
Sky blue was the one crayon in the box that never had a chance with its waxy like texture. It never looked smooth and would glob up the more you used pressure. Yuck! I carefully extracted the tool from the box and…
I WENT IN….ALL IN!!!
Using the perfect point to reach this nose goblin, carefully of course… and the tip breaks! WOW. If I didn’t dis-like this color before, I really dis-liked it now. The search and rescue mission failed. I pushed the fragment farther up my nose. I walked calmly to my grandmother to show her my stupidity and her efforts to retrieve it were also futile. It was really lodged in there…off the ER we go.
I sat on the table while doctors forced mini-forceps up my nose, trying to hold back their laughter while they were digging for gold… well actually sky blue.
Now, as I look back at this experience, I am not traumatized or embarrassed. I am grateful to have grown-up in a generation where imagination ruled.
Problem-solving skills on point! (PUN INTENDED)
Mindful parent lesson: Take the tablet or phone out of your child’s hands and yours. Teach them to interact with people. Talk with your child and let them ask a trillion “why” questions. Teach them to use art, music, or reading as an outlet. Let your kids know it’s ok to be silly. It’s ok if their imaginary friend wants to come for dinner. And if they want to color their grass purple, encourage them to make it the most beautiful purple anyone could imagine.
Praise them for their open minds and unlimited potential.
“The imagination is the golden pathway to everywhere.”
– Terence McKenna