I LOVE a good visual story. This is one that Deb, a friend who I used to work with, would tell about her childhood in Chicago. If you’re reading this Deb, I hope I do it justice.
Deb lived in a neighborhood close to a park that had a great hill for sledding in the wintertime.
One day, after school, she and her little friend Mary decided, because there had been a nice heavy sticks-together-for-great-snowballs snowfall last night, that they would go to the park to sled (and maybe even throw a few snowballs at that mean kid Roger, when he wasn’t looking).
The park was crowded — lots of kids were there enjoying the snow — and LOTS of them were on the sledding hill. But, Deb and Mary took turns sledding down the hill (they only had one sled between them) whenever they could get “a turn” on the busy hill.
It soon became apparent that this was reallllly slow “fun.” One would sled down, and then slooowly trudge back up the hill, pulling the heavy sled. She would then give the sled to the other, who would then wait for HER turn, then SHE would sled down and sloowly trudge back up the hill . . . . you get the picture. Fun –but SHORT fun — with LOTS of waiting in between. (Don’t kids just HATE to wait?)
So, while waiting for her next turn Deb had a BRILLIANT idea! “How about if we BOTH ride the sled down the hill at the same time!” Mary was a little reluctant — she wasn’t as adventuresome as Deb and couldn’t see exactly how that would work.
Deb didn’t really have a “plan” either — but that didn’t stop her — she made up the plan as she went! “Okay, here’s what we’ll do. When it’s our next turn, one of us will lay down on the sled and the other one will lay on TOP of her!” What a great plan! Not only would they each get to go down twice as many times, but it would be easier to pull the sled back up the hill when they were doing it together. Brilliant!
So, when their turn came, they pulled the sled to the very edge of the hill. Quickly they had to decide — who on the top — who on the bottom! Hurry! All the other kids waiting, didn’t want them to “standing around talking!” So, because Mary outweighed Deb (she was a little bit chubby), Deb said to her, ”Get on first!” Mary didn’t have time to “debate” it, whether she liked the idea or not, so she laid down on the sled, and Deb laid down on top of her!
They hadn’t thought about the fact that their combined weight would make it harder to start the sled sliding! But someone from behind, who was just interested in getting them out of the way so that THAT person could have THEIR turn, gave them a push and they got started!
They went sliding down the hill. It was great! This was a BRILLIANT idea, Deb was thinking. When they came to a stop at the bottom of the hill, Deb jumped up and said, “Hurry, Mary. That was fun! Let’s go do it that way again!” Mary didn’t answer. Mary was slow getting up. Hadn’t Mary enjoyed it as much as Deb had? Well, maybe not QUITE as much.
Mary slowly turned around. What had happened to Mary? She had snow in her mouth and covering her face (even her glasses)! In fact, the whole front of her was packed with snow! When Deb started brushing the snow off the front of her little friend, she realized that all the buttons on the front of Mary’s coat were gone! Then, she looked up the hill — the sled was still at the top of the hill, and the realization came – she had “sledded” down the hill on Mary!!
Needless to say, that was the end of sledding for that day — and Mary may have even had a deeply held aversion to sledding for the rest of her life. But, Deb always said, it was a great sled ride anyway, all things considered!
No great lesson to be learned here — just a great story to visualize. It could have happened to ANY of us, beginning with a BRILLIANT idea!