Friday, February 6, 2015

Caine's Arcade

Watching this little boy create this arcade reminded me of the things I used to create when I was a kid. In his mind, it's real. It's a world that he created.

I remember creating worlds.

I would design houses out of anything. At 11, I used clay to make a floor plan with 3D furniture and a family.  At 14, I drew a four story house elevation without the front wall so you could see all the rooms with cut-out furniture and cut-out members of a family. As an art assignment in 6th grade, I made a 2 story house out of cardboard. My British best friend next door helped me. It was very elaborate. Carpet flooring, shower curtain, toilet paper roll, real stairs, washer and dryer. That creation was an English house. In North Dakota, at nine years old, I raked up all the leaves in the front yard and used them to outline the floor plan of a small house. Then, made furniture with more leaves.

The only time we lived in base housing was at Lakenheath in England. There was no grass in the back yard. I would make roads in the dirt for my Hotwheels. I made a whole town. I kept track of all the activities of all the people driving around the town. I moved more than one car at a time. People going to work. Moms going shopping and picking up kids.

While I was in England playing Ghostbusters in the back garden with my friends, we would pretend everything. Our equipment, the walls and rooms. It was winter, but we played in the dark, there was little snow. Of course, America had Ghostbusters, too. And there, in America was Jake actually making physical ghostbusting equipment. I mean like, the mechanical box that you used to trap the ghost!

Speaking of Jake, he would build purposeful things all over his mother's house. He made a door bell, an intercom system, several robots. His dad would come home and find things taken apart because Jake needed some part for an invention.

One year, Morgan made a hat with two cups attached to it that had straws coming down so he could drink easily wherever he was. When he showed it to Jake, Jake was then able to share his own story of inventing the very same thing when he was little.

As I watched this video about Caine's arcade, I looked back at my years as a mom. How many times did I ruin my kid's world? Every time I told the boys to pick up their Legos because the floor needed to be cleaned, did I ruin their world? Every time I purged their room and said, "Do we really need to keep this anymore?" did I send the message that that invention was useless or wasteful?

My desire to have a "perfect" house; my desire to purge anything that's not useful or necessary; my desire to NOT be completely out of tape, or glue, or paper supplies sometimes -often times- causes me to be the very one standing in the way of my children creating a world.

I don't want to be that guy.

I'm glad I came across this video. I'm glad for videos, articles, and real people which remind me that most of the time, all my children need is for me to be encouraging; to remember that duct tape and rope don't compare in value to that moment when my kid is about to build a world.

Caine's Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

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