The night before the project, my mother wrapped two slices of bread in wax paper, and I carried the slices to school in anticipation of the project.
When art time arrived, my classmates and I carefully followed Mrs. Roth’s instructions. But when everyone else miraculously made bread play dough, I simply made a mess.
And rightly so. Her bread was wonderful. It just wasn’t soft and sticky. Instead it crumbled.
Apparently you need sticky bread to make bread play dough. I think Mrs. Roth felt sorry for me, and initially I felt sorry for myself as well as embarrassed that once again my family had to be different from everyone else’s.
But after a few days, I discovered my debacle during art class made a really good story.
And over the years, I’ve found that being different is much more interesting than being like everyone else and that my greatest failures often become my greatest stories.
And that always wakes me smile.
Day 36: Challenging Experiences that Make Great Stories
Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s Victory Day 17: A Royal Birth Day 16: Creative Kids Day 15: The Scent of Honeysuckle Day 14: Clip of Kevin Kline Exploring His Masculinity Day 13: Random Text Messages from My Daughter Day 12: Round Bales of Hay Day 11: Water Fountains for Dogs Day 10: The Rainier Beer Motorcycle Commercial Day 9: Four-Leaf Clovers Day 8: Great Teachers We Still Remember Day 7: Finding the missing sock Day 6: Children’s books that teach life-long lessons Day 5: The Perfect Photo at the Perfect Moment Day 4: Jumping in Puddles Day 3: The Ride Downhill after the Struggle Uphill Day 2: Old Photographs Day 1: The Martians on Sesame Street
The first time I opened the pages of The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, I fell in love with the story and its lesson.
Bartholomew Cubbins was poor, but he did his best to follow the law, which required him to take off his hat when in the presence of the king.
Unfortunately for Bartholomew, every time he removed one hat, another immediately took its place. Then, after removing hundreds of similar hats, each new hat started becoming more extravagant than the previous.
After Bartholomew was threatened with death for his inability to go hatless, he finally removed the last hat, which was decorated with gold and jewels.
The king was so impressed that he not only granted Bartholomew a reprieve for wearing a hat in his presence, but he also purchased the last hat for himself.
Even as a child, I got the message: there will always be people who abuse their power in order to make themselves feel important. Often, we are forced to comply to protect ourselves. But eventually, if we persevere and do the right thing, we will prevail while those who worship power continue to struggle with their own weaknesses.
That lesson always makes me smile.
Day 18: Bartholomew Cubbin’s Victory