The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Invisible Glue and Poison Water

"Children make you want to start life over." ~Muhammad Ali

It's not every day that I get the chance to be around children. Since all the cousins in my family are roughly around the same age, we went through the "kid stage" at the same time and have all been out of it for a number of years. We sometimes reflect on the games we used to play and the crazy antics we used to pull-- but for the most part-- they are just distant memories; often times, memories that are formed after someone tells you that you in fact did such a thing.

Those of you who know me know that--though you may not call me this to my face--I am in fact a bit of a control freak. I like to know what's happening, why it's happening, how it's going to end up, etc. Uptight is my perpetual state of being and worry is its best friend.

Some people may take pills for this type of thing. Some people can afford weekly masseuse visits. Instead, I have been blessed to have my own little ray of sunshine in the form of my friend's 4-year-old daughter. I see her a few times a week and get the opportunity to babysit her occasionally. She is a reminder to me of who I used to be--and that, in the big scheme of things, how I do on my accounting homework does not define who I am.

I took a break from schoolwork yesterday and took her to a nearby park. We tried our hand at the teeter-totter (I got quite the thigh workout from having to maintain control and not send her on a first-class trip to the moon!)We went down the slide and played some tag.

My favorite game, though, was when she decided to glue my feet to the ground. She picked my feet up and spread the "invisible glue" all over the bottom of my shoe. She decided she was going to run around me; I, being stuck, was "forced" to save my breath and stand defenseless. I didn't have the heart to tell her that not having to run was totally OK with me so I instead acted like I was becoming immensely frustrated that I couldn't catch up with her.

She then informed me that the glue could not be undone without "poison water." She told me she was going to find some so she could undo the spell of the magic glue. Lucky for me, poison water was indeed found and placed on a rock. The rock was rubbed on the bottom of my shoe, freeing me from my invisible ties to the ground.

We left the park and got some ice cream; it was in the car that she said those sweet little words: "Ashton, you're my best friend." To me, this little phrase is right up there with a guy saying the "L" word for the first time.

I may have taken her to the park, to the McDonald's Playplace and to get ice cream, but she has taken me to a place far greater. She has taken me back to a time that I have long pushed in the back of my mind.

...the days when I was a cowgirl tied to the crib by my Indian brothers.
...the days when I was a traveler on the Oregon Trail, pushing my rocking horse up against the recliner (my wagon).
...the days when I was a princess getting served tea and Poptarts by my waiters/brothers.

I spent so much of my childhood trying to grow up. I would pretend to go to work; pretend to be a housewife; pretend to be pregnant (pillows, anyone?) Now, I can't help but want to go back. Since this is impossible, I can only offer my love for children and an appreciation for who they are. I want to be this person:

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
Rachel Carson

Here's to the world of rediscovery!


Blogger HannahKey said...

Beautifully stated, Ashton. I am continually amazed by the imaginativeness of children; isn't it refreshing!

Hmm.... the crib thing sounds familiar..... haha. Oh to be captured by indians and tied to a crib! We were quite the damsels in distress, weren't we?

February 5, 2010 at 7:37 AM  

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