It’s amazing seeing the impact of something you’ve done with your child in the past still staying with them in the present. For us, my son and I, several times when he was younger I would build things for him out of cardboard boxes. An airplane, super hero armor, or a race car.
Today, the remains of a cardboard box laid across our dining table after I had cut it up to help my daughter’s best friend with a school project. My ever active little son took it upon himself to pick out an obscurely-shaped and discarded piece of cardboard for himself. He then diligently, and quietly I might add, worked on the floor with a safety scissors to cut out a half circle from one edge to fit around his neck. Seems it was a cardboard cape that he envisioned and was fashioning.
I was busy in the kitchen and had hardly taken notice of all this but it was when I managed a break from cooking dinner that he begged me with much delight to help tape his cape to his shoulders. So I most certainly obliged, and as I was carefully wrapping him in tape I couldn’t help but smile at the moment. Here he was, engaging himself, and me, in an activity we had shared together many nights past. In those past cardboard cutting adventures I had been the advocate but now it was him. Even with the Xbox, smart phones, and computers at his disposal, he chose a self-made, cardboard cut-out, cape. A self-made adventure if there ever was one.
In that moment, it was easy to see how much it meant to him, those nights long ago when we had done the same thing, and now, that I was taking the time to help him figure out how to make his cape stay in place just like he wanted. His smiles and jumps in front of the mirror were evident of his absolute delight.
Truthfully, many days pass unnoticed in our hectic family life but today it was heartwarming to appreciate the moment and see my son remember the times when daddy had gone the extra mile with nothing but some tape and cardboard just to make him happy and show him the fun of imagination.
Hmm, I wonder if Superman ever had a cardboard cape?