Haines, My Way: School wall art inspired this message

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When I wasn’t intently keeping my toes on the silver line like a tightrope walker down the halls of Fairview Elementary School, my youthful eyes always got lost in the vast varieties of art on the walls. Even though grownups don’t need to put invisible marshmallows in their mouths and stay in line when visiting school buildings, I still joyfully take in all the colorful and creative works that adorn the halls of our Carthage schools. Recently, my daughter, Nora, 5, proudly pointed to one of her latest works on the wall of Little Folks – and I’m a mom so naturally I took her picture with it – but this little scene triggered within me an important message …

Each of us are born with a sweet uniqueness – it’s wonderfully displayed on the walls of our schools. These little youthful creations are so diverse, each representing such a beautiful distinction of our personalities and spirit. God made us that way – to be different from one another and see the world in our own perspectives.

Perfectionists will cringe at some of the art because they’re far from the mold. I say, embrace those imperfections. Not everybody fits into that perfect cookie-cutter expectation. I would even go as far to say that it’s wrong to have identical art projects down the halls.

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If you notice, gradually those art projects do become similar as the kids grow older … until they’re brave enough to express themselves through art, anyway. But that makes me sad because it shows that as a society we encourage a standard of “normal” and we’re even discouraged from that special uniqueness we had as young people.

Maybe that’s why middle school is so hard … These young people are learning who they are, finding that balance between acceptance and individuality. If I could share something with this age group, it would be to “Embrace Your Weird!”

My kids are at such a fun age because they’re expressing their perspectives more, and I have say – their outlook on things and the way they see the world is far brighter, more fun, silly and creative than I’ve even dreamed in the past 10 years. Parenthood allows us to put on those childhood glasses again, and I’m loving the view. I see sweet uniqueness, and it makes me want to encourage them and their little peers to keep it for as long as they can.

Need more of a glimpse into my world?

“Darth Vader in the elevator,” totally rhymes and is hilarious if you visualize it.

Minnie Mouse calls us often to invite us to go shopping.

We always have a song playing in our head – and it’s still Christmas music.

If you have seven Lego pieces, you can build a go-kart or airplane … and go to California in either one.

And this last image I’ll leave you with is common knowledge among little kids – no matter how tired you are, you can put your head on the couch and still let your feet dance.

Rebecca Haines is a contributor to The Carthage Press.

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