the potential of carrrrrrdboard.

“the girls would like to make a pirate ship, if you could pick up something from a store that has large boxes on your way home.”

It was a text I pretty much asked for.  In celebration of our homeschool schedule, we were able to attend a show at Millikin University this past Tuesday, called “How I Became a Pirate“.  It was parrrrrrfectly scheduled during me lunchtime. (sorry, a bit of pirate still in me)  So on my way home for lunch, I stopped by the local party store and picked up a few pirate dress-up items.  Eye-patches, fake pinkpearlearrings, and hats….about $5 total for an infinite amount of value really.

My girls went nuts when daddy opened the door dressed for the show, and offered them the same trinkets.  We proudly walked into the audience, as Kindergarteners from the local schools all turned around to see our eye patches and gasped, “Look….it’s a pirate family!”  I knew I’d done something good.

The show was high energy, and funny – even if much of the humor went over the heads of the kids.  (“find us online at pirates dot arrrrrgh”)  There was enough slapstick physical comedy, and throwing in the word “Booty” kept the kids rolling almost on command.

On the short drive home (we live 2 blocks away) we were still enjoying practicing the pirate lingo.  So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I received the above text from my wife just a couple minutes before leaving work.  Thankfully there’s an appliance store not far from my house downtown.  Here’s my conversation:

Salesman: Hello sir, is there anything I can help you with today?

Me: Yes, I need to make a pirate ship.  Do you have any carrrrdboard?

Salesman: (didn’t catch my wit) You’re building a pirate ship?

Other Salesman (obviously a dad): Oh, you’re looking for our cardboard pirate ships, right?

Me: Yes!

Other Salesman: Let me see what I’ve got in the back….

So I ended up with a hodge-podge mess of cardboard boxes and pieces.  With enough duct-tape, and a little help from my princesses, a pirate ship was born.  They’ve played in it a bit, and have begun to apply some paint.  (Remember the “Black Pearl” from Pirates of the Caribbean?  Ours is the “Pink Pearl”…less evil, more tutu’s)

It’s been a good reminder that entertainment does not need to be expensive.  We don’t need to buy new things…except perhaps a new roll of duct tape every now and then.  We need more last minute moments that inspire creativity and ask us to bring something to the table, instead of offering us passive moments of consumptive entertainment.  It’s moments like these…that my children help make me a better person – and I help them grow in very imparrrrrrrrtant ways.  (k, done with pirate-voice now)

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