Flashback Friday – I’m resurrecting some of my old favorite posts from before anyone read me. This gem first posted December 20th, 2008.
A couple of weeks ago I was spending the afternoon at my friend’s house with her two daughters. The oldest just turned three and is as adorable as all get out. For awhile she would bring me each container of play dough to open for her. Then at one point I was holding eight wads of play dough in my hands. Next she decided to make requests.
“Make a green butterfly.”
No problem. I can do a butterfly.
“Oh! I like that. Make a purple flower.”
“What is that?”
Ok! It must be a pretty bad flower if a three year old doesn’t know what it is.
“Make a white kangaroo.”
“A white kangaroo.”
I looked at my friend and we busted up laughing. She said she was so glad I got the kangaroo and not her. None of you will believe this but I produced the best white kangaroo ever! I even gave her a pouch with a baby kangaroo inside it. Neither of us thought to take a picture of this national treasure but I can tell you all were impressed.
I still smile fondly of that lovely afternoon but the other day something really struck me. Even though I failed miserable at making a simple flower. She didn’t skip a beat and immediately handed me an even bigger challenge. She didn’t think to herself, “Well this one can’t even produce a flower perhaps I should give up on her.” She basically shrugged off my failure and moved on to the next thing. I thought that was such a marvelous gift that children have in themselves. They so unconsciously just believe that they and others can do anything. There are no barriers. We all used to be able to do that but something goes wrong in some of us as we age. Sometimes it is other kids being hateful or a teacher/parent/old lady neighbor telling us how horrible we are at something that makes us stop believing that everything is possible and that perhaps failure is the end of the world. I tend to wallow in my failures instead of seeking out the next challenge. There is a saying that the mountain of success is a pile of failures. The next time I am down about a failure in my life I hope that I can remember my white kangaroo and know that I can rise to any occasion even if I can’t produce a play dough flower to impress a 3 year old.