The Thing That Can Do Everything – Updated

My daughter has this toy. Actually it is what remains of a toy. In its day, it was her most prized possession. Brimstone rained from the sky and the earth shook when it was misplaced, and so I made sure that didn’t happen too often on my watch. She called it “the thing that can do everything”.

Many happy hours, for both child and mom, were wiled away with this green rubber multi-tentacled stretchy thing that stuck to whatever it came into contact with and left a slightly skin crawling sticky feeling in its wake. While she engaged in games that only a four year old could find enthralling, mom was happily accomplishing … well, okay, I wasn’t accomplishing a damn thing but I was happily not doing so. During my most recent quest to organize, I have begun the arduous task of liberating space from toys that have fallen on hard times or complete disfavor. It’s amazing how quickly children shed their affection for objects that once held the entire household hostage to their well-being.

Like most preschoolers my daughter at that age could derive more pleasure from packaging of all kinds or soggy tennis balls she found at the park than from the abundance of toys she owned. She had a green set of fairy wings and a pink plastic wand that inspired her to make up stories and at any moment burst into song like a Disney character.

Two years older now, she still narrates her imaginary play with music and lyrics that could rival any Broadway play. But the “thing that can do everything” was a true wonder toy. Even in its diminished state with missing appendages and loss of super gooey sticking power, it was still capable of wondrous achievements. In its day it was a bath toy, a slingshot, a magical yo-yo and the centerpiece of innumerable games. It flew. It tied elaborate knots with special binding powers. It danced as exquisitely as any principal dancer with the Joffery. Once, in conjunction with the pink wand, it made the rain go away.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had such a toy? A thing that could do everything? Of course we do, it’s just that as we age we stop using it and our imaginations give way to reality and logic, allowing itself to be grounded by tyrannous rule of the majority who dictate the possible and the acceptable to us. What would happen, I wonder, if we regularly donned pink wings with our business attire or burst into song to order up our lattes? Do you think we could make the rain go away?

This was an original post at anniegirl1138 and updated for 50 Something Moms.

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