He's in the 5th grade now, a tow-headed boy I've known for some time. But when you're eleven and on the brink of adolescence, it's not so cool to talk to teachers and grown-ups in the hallways anymore. I've watched him become more detached over the years in this growing up process; his innocence and openness gradually slipping away. And it's been a little sad.
But yesterday when I greeted him in the hallway, expecting the usual mumbled reply, he stopped and looked at me saying, "Remember the scribble game?"
Do I. Carol Dochow and I started it back in 1971 in our fourth grade classroom. When we had finished with our school work, we would play it at our desks. The first person would make a scribble mark on a piece of paper then pass it to the other. That person would then look at the scribble from every angle and add to it to create a picture. When I was older and had kids of my own, I taught them how to play to keep them occupied when we were waiting at restaurants or at the doctor's office. Even my husband and I played it a few years back when we had to wait several hours at the Mayo Clinic
In recent years I used it to entertain young children roaming around while I was taking money at ballgames. They would sit on stools at the large table with me and we'd pass the paper back and forth. It was fun watching them take on the 'scribble'. This boy in the hallway was one of those kids who used to find fascination in a simple mark he could transform into art.
I told him that yes, I remembered, and that it would be fun for him to show his little brother how to play the game while they were waiting on someone.
"I want to play it with you." he said.
It's amazing just how little children truly need. In a world where technology reigns and we are bombarded with all that is electronic, a young boy still remembers - and is drawn to - a magical world of paper and pen where he can see the world any way he chooses, and be the master of his own creation.