Monday, January 11, 2010

Out of my comfort zone

I know everyone already knows about Wreck This Journal, but I'm going to talk about it anyway. I gave each of my children a copy for Christmas, and they were immediately intrigued. This gift fascinated them more than any other. "We can really wreck it?" they asked. "Yes, that's the point," I said.

They cautiously flipped through the pages, laughing nervously over some of the suggested things to do. Spill food on it? Take it in the shower? Poke holes in it? Rip out a page? This is crazy!!

I am always so careful of my possessions. I was born this way. I don't like things to show use or age. I am careful with everything, but my books especially remain pristine. I don't write in them or dog ear them. I never leave them opened up, face down. The spines on my paperbacks are not creased. Unless I buy a book used, it will remain looking unread, even if I've read it over and over again. My own mother is afraid to borrow books from me. It's not so much an obsessive-compulsive thing as it is a respect, maybe even a reverence, for all things. My husband displays a similar attitude, and we've taught our children to treat things gently.

Wreck This Journal is a departure for us. My kids began wrecking their journals cautiously, but they quickly got into the spirit of it, and I'll admit, it's been hard for me to watch this happen. I had to hold my breath when my son twisted his in his hands to crack the spine. Later that day I caught them both smearing food and dripping milk on the pages, and I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from telling them to stop, but once that tense moment was past, it felt nice to let it happen. It's good to let yourself out of your comfort zone, even on a small scale.

My daughter took her journal to school for sharing, and her classmates were riveted. Most of them said they'd love to have a journal to wreck. I think we've found our birthday party gifts for 2010!