Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why not?

Having always been 34, I can't speak from experience, but I think being a kid must be like being a visionary working as an IRS file clerk. Kids (at least the ones worth their weight in cheddar bunnies) have a million ideas for making things good and they spend their lives hearing why the ideas won't work. Some parents don't even explain why. They just pretend that the kids' voices simply couldn't be heard over the din of the nearby garbage truck/blowdryer/sunrise.

One sassy parent I knew had the same answer for every kid brainstorm.

Kids: "If we didn't have to go to school we could catch enough newts to put on a musical with them."
MOM: "Yes, and if our poop were purple we could sell it!"

Kids: "If we dug a huge hole in the backyard, we could put a fire in it and practice swinging over like Tarzan."

Mom: "Yes, and if our poop were purple, we could sell it!"

Kids: "If we painted the house and yard the same color as the street, we could hide inside and no-one would ever find us."

...and so on.

Lately at Joyful we've been swimming in this chasm between what we imagine and what we can realistically do. Thank goodness we still have the minds among us that say things like:

"Let's have a trapeze basketball game in the store!"

"Can Brandi Carlile play at our next party?"

"How many homeless people could we fit in here on a cold night?"

"Why aren't we selling sofas made from bathtubs cut the long way?"

or the seemingly practical: "How about we make four hall trees before the first day of winter?"

or the desperately necessary: "Let's figure out what an email authentication setting is, so I don't have to wimper to the support guy any more."

How do you cultivate both imagination and patience? How do you have these dreams and keep showing up to look at them half done? How do you accept what's impossible when you're secretly living on a steady diet of blueberries, beets, and grapes?

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