We had a dusting of snow this morning that resulted in the buses coming late. I got to spend some extra time with the kids and they jumped on the computer as this was bonus time for them. My daughter was busy on Poptropica and my son was editing a graphic at the bitmap level.
He was changing dots. One at a time. Happily making a sarcophagus for one of his beloved Pokemon. “Because it looks cool”.
When it was time to get ready for the bus we geared up and waited and I asked him why he was creating a bitmap.
“Because it’s fun”
“But what are you going to do with it” I pressed because I didn’t understand the purpose of making the graphic if he wasn’t going to do anything with it.
“I don’t know.” Blowing on the glass storm door and drawing two short lines with a smile underneath. A smiley face. Nice.
“But what’s the point, why do it?” This from the kitchen where his mother is working with the dog.
“I guess if I got a Pokemon White ROM I could edit it and replace (it)” His face changed slightly.
I keep smiling, but am having doubts.
“Well that’s all we wanted to know,” I say, “we just want to know why you’re doing stuf. If it’s just the joy of creation, that’s fine, but if it’s for some other reason we wanted to know too.”
We look out the storm door, where my daughter had gone out already and was playing with the snow at the circle. I watch the back of his head as he blows again on the door.
This time he makes his two short lines with a frown. Is it because we tried to make something that was fun, purposeful instead? Was it because he was just doing the yin/yang, drama/comedy thing? I see the bus go by and I don’t ask. I am reminded that sometimes we do things because they are fun and there is no purpose. I am afraid by the sudden realization that I might have taken that away from my young son because I was focused on the question of what purpose instead of the joy it was giving him.
We walk down the path and there are parts covered in snow. He notices that the snow if that perfect, crunchy kind that molds to the bottom of the shoe and leaves a clean imprint. He tries to read what I leave in my tracks but the letters are too different, too bright in reverse. We lift up my foot and he read’s the “Land’s End” underneath and moves up the walkway.
A piece of snow goes by. Thrown? I grab a chunk and throw it at my daughter. She grabs a chunk of snow and throws it at the boy. Within a few seconds we each have snow on us and are laughing again. The bus is coming into the cul de sac and I brush the kids off.
It was a good time and I think about how I don’t want to loses this feeling. And now I know I won’t.