Friday, June 15, 2012

June 15 Photo: Yellow

This yellow toy backhoe is one of my son’s very favorite toys. Those of you familiar with the technical terms of construction vehicles will immediately notice that this truck is not technically a backhoe. I call it a backhoe for the same reasons we still address former presidents as “Mr. President”: a) because they used to hold that title, and b) because both are due a measure of respect for their service.

It goes without saying that my son is pretty rough on toys. He is 2-1/2, after all. And his family nickname is “Destructo-Boy.” Fortunately, he does not seem to mind all that much when he slowly breaks his toys, bit by bit. He happens to be both bright enough and creative enough to find new ways to play with each toy’s current abilities.

For example, this backhoe originally had a front-loader bucket on the right and an excavator bucket attachment on the boom arm to the left. The front-loader bucket broke off first, and when that happened, my son used the truck as an excavator, parking it on top of the toybox and reaching its boom arm down below its own wheels, pretending to scoop up dirt. Once the excavator bucket fell off, he declared the truck to be an impact hammer, and happily made “rat-a-tat” noises while banging the barren boom arm on every surface he could reach. And when the boom arm itself falls off, as it does on a regular basis, he simply calls it a tractor and pretends to use it to knock down silos.

I love his creativity and cleverness in figuring out how to use each variation of the truck, but I love even more that he never stops to mourn the loss of a function, he merely finds new things that it can do. Wouldn’t it be great if we were all like that? Instead of whining or complaining or being disappointed about something that we can no longer do, we should all learn to rejoice in discovering what we can do – perhaps even things we never noticed we could do before!

Not a bad lesson to learn from a little yellow toy truck.

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