Remember the story of the little engine that could? It is a kid’s story to teach kids to never give up and keep trying because they could do it. It teaches kids about optimism, hard work and to never give up. The little engine was a train engine asked to pull a long line of rail cars over the mountain. All the other engines refused and it was up to the little engine. Through the little engines perseverance and practice he got it. He chugged along pulling all the rail cars with his little chant, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” Kids were so excited to see the little engine succeed.
It is a bunch of crap and should be burned with all the other fairy tales we are sold as kids. Yeah it teaches a valuable lesson but where is the follow up book? You know the one where the little engine figures out that he can’t really do everything. That sometimes it is ok to accept not being perfect and it is not the end of the world. Where is that book? The one that makes the kid who just sucks completely at art or math or science or spelling not feel bad. The book that tells kids that sometimes, not only is it ok but it is necessary to give up and accept you suck at something and focus all your efforts on doing something you can do and are good at?
This morning I accepted, after 37 years of trying, that I can’t do crafty stuff. I sucks at crafts. I can dream up the greatest stuff but when I try to build it, it is a disaster. Each and every time I tell myself I can do it. I go get all the crafty supplies, plan it all out carefully, follow all the instructions, try, try and try some more and fail. I am then gutted that something as simple as making a craft is impossible for me. But the little engine could do it so I have to be able to do it. Stupid little engine. I give up. That is right, you heard me, I officially and forever give up on crafts. Mark your calendars because I will never again do another craft.
Come to think of it, there are quite few other children’s books I would like to see in the pile, covered with lighter fluid and burning brightly. Stop teaching the fairy tale and start teaching the reality. Prince charming is not real, all step-mothers are not evil, you don’t need a life tragedy to make you a better person, life isn’t fair and it doesn’t always end happily ever after.
Now I am getting the kids off to school and then I am going back to bed to nurse my disappointment that once again I failed at a stupid craft project. The idea was amazing and the final product would have been neat but nope it is a lump of rice krispie treats, twizzlers strewn about, cinnamon discs dotting the counter top and black frosting just sitting there. I was just trying to make a little Halloween cat out of rice krispie treats, how hard is that, freaking impossible at least for me. The baking part I can do, the rice krispie treats came out awesome, but when it came to the crafty part, well that all ended miserably.
I blame that stupid engine that taught me to never give up, gave me hope and that I could succeed if I just kept trying and doing the work. So my motto for the day. Screw the little engine that could. Sometimes we can’t and that is ok too! That is my current real life Facebook status as well.