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The Creativity of one Squirmy Little Guy

I sat in my son’s second-grade classroom and listened to his teacher share her observations about him, his learning profile and ability to learn. I HATED PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES. (But not as much as I hated chaperoning field trips, which will be the subject of a future post.) I eagerly absorbed every bit of information, and hoped that she adored him and saw just how creative he was.



But it’s impossible for a teacher with 34 second graders to appreciate the creativity of one squirmy little guy.


She handed me two palmfuls of what can best be described as Rube Goldbergs. I know you have seen a Rube Goldberg, those “ingeniously or unnecessarily complicated in design or construction” things. Think of the game “Mousetrap” or look up some YouTube videos. There are some amazing, kid-created inventions out there.

Back to my kid. He had unwound paper clips, attached them into rubber pencil erasers, attached shoe strings (no wonder his shoes never had laces!) and yarn or rubber bands. He then had connected beads or foil balls (who sends foil in their kid’s lunch these days?!) to the strings. And with his device assembled . . . he launched these items across the room with a flick of his finger.


Second grade!


The story gets better. His classmates loved his inventions so much that he started selling them.


Second grade!


I sat at the too-small desk, listening to my son’s teacher beg me to switch to velcro shoes and to ask him to stop making and selling his contraptions in school.

I nodded, barely able to make eye contact in my shame, thanked her, gathered my son’s creations and left.


As soon as I closed her classroom door, my posture changed. I held my head high. I strutted a little, with a big grin and a swagger in my step. After all, my squirmy little guy had invented all of these things. And he was only in second grade!


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