Ah, the joy of… sticks

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/04/2020 (1021 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

I’ve been thinking a lot about sticks lately.

Like many kids, my daughter Hope never misses an opportunity to pick up a lone stick lying on the grass and use it as a magic wand, a spoon, a shovel or whatever else her imagination comes up with. Even if we had a yard filled with toys, she would still find that lone stick lying in the grass and incorporate it into whatever game she was playing.

So why have sticks been occupying my thoughts?

Dreamstime.com A simple stick can be the greatest plaything for some children. Let their imaginations run freely.

Well, since I’ve started working from home a few weeks ago, Hope and I have been going for a lot of walks. Not surprisingly, she always manages to find a stick along the way and proceeds to bring it with her on our journey. Sometimes the stick functions as a cane. Sometimes it’s used for pointing (“Hey mom, look at that bird’s nest!”). Other times it’s used as a shovel or to poke at something fascinating to nine-year-olds, such as icy puddles, mounds of mud or mysterious little crevices in the cement.

What’s been different about these walks recently is that now she doesn’t stop to pick up just one stick, she picks up as many as her little arms can carry and brings them home to deposit in our backyard.

The first time she attempted to do this, my first reaction was, of course, to say “no.” It’s bad enough cleaning up branches after a windstorm — but to deliberately fill the yard with them?

No way.

That is, until I saw the way her face lit up as she found another potential ‘treasure’ (a.k.a. stick) on the ground and added it to her collection. Her face beamed when she told me all about the castles and forts she was planning to make with them in the backyard. This was the most excited I had seen her in weeks — since before we had to cancel her birthday party; before the weekend playdates stopped; before she was no longer allowed to swing from the monkey bars in the playground.

So I let her take home an armful of sticks that day. And on every walk after that. And even though it’s going to take more yard waste bags then I can count to clean it all up later, these sticks have already brought her hours of happiness.

During these difficult times, remember that sometimes it’s the smallest things that can bring the most joy.

Heather Innis is a community correspondent for Windsor Park. You can contact her at htiede@gmail.com

Heather Innis

Heather Innis
Windsor Park community correspondent

Heather Innis is a community correspondent for Windsor Park.

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