I often look at my dog and say to her, why did you do that? I do the same thing with my grandkids, especially when they do something strange. I remember the time one of my grandkids was acting up. I made him go to his room (the room that we have dedicated for all grandkids when they come over). He was about five years old at the time. While he was in the room, I went about my normal routine of doing thing retired people do. You know those things that bring peace and contentment. The quiet was welcome, but I guess I should’ve known that it was too enjoyable.
After thirty minutes or so, I went to the room to check on him. To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. We always keep a good number of toys, books and craft items in the room for the grandkids for when they come over. We don’t want the devil to make himself busy in an idle mind. Well, my grandson had certainly been busy, and he had made good (albeit) unacceptable use of some of the craft items in the room. He had used the crayons, freely available, to mark up every wall in the room. I honestly think he would’ve done the sealing too, if he could’ve reached it. I must give him credit for his creative expression. The right side of his brain was in high gear.
When I stepped into the room and saw what he had done, something came over me that caused me to be unusually calm. I took in the artwork before me and asked him why he did what he did. Of course, he had no answer. I think he might have been a bit surprised that I didn’t have steam blowing out of my nose. I was a little surprised that I didn’t, too. At that moment I realized that he only knew what he knew. Crayons were meant to be used for coloring and drawing. That’s what grandpa and grandma had shown him. Grandpa had banished him to a room equipped with four large canvasses and crayons to express himself in grand fashion. And that’s exactly what he did.
I share that story because it’s applicable to some of the social ills that prevent us from moving forward today. We’re born with a blank slate. We have no sense of hatred, love, joy, etc. Society gets its soiled hands on us and before you know it, we have prejudices of all kinds. We tend to hold these programmed concepts close to our chests; they are what we know. They are the tools we use to navigate, the best we can through a world that needs love, peace and understanding. Reprogramming does happen occasionally; however, not as frequently as many of us would like to see. We know what we know. Too many of us go to our graves with that concept a part of our very being. Maybe it should be written on our gravestones.
Back to the gallery created by my grandson: I left it on the walls for a couple of years. It didn’t look too bad. I’ve seen pictures of ancient cave paintings that don’t look so good. Of course, I was able to help my grandson move beyond what he knew, when he marked up the walls of the grandkids room. He knows better now. Wouldn’t it be great if we could move beyond all the social ills that hold us back?
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.
Great analogy. And what a marvelous response to your grandson’s “creative” energy. I guess that calm is part of the wisdom of being old enough to become a grandparent. And it is why most kids who know their grandparents, love them dearly.
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