Yo Grabba Grabba

I promised it would be more fun. How many of you grown-ups have been entranced by the show "Yo Gabba Gabba!" on Nick Jr.? Anyone that loved Deee-Lite back in the day will know what I mean when I say that this show is fabulous. But this isn't about the TV show- it's about a young friend that we made at the workshop over the summer and to whom we refer as "Yo Grabba Grabba". Yo Grab reminded me of something important, and it's something about which all parents might want to remind themselves. You see, Yo Grab had a little "collecting habit" at the workshop. It started out with a little sequin here, a small ball of clay there. Some days it was something sparkly and new looking. Other days it was a peculiar piece of plastic packaging, or even just a twist-tie. Nothing too significant. But what this child was doing was building her own workshop full of little inspiring supplies that cost her nothing.

Sure, we kept our eye on Yo Grabba Grabba. And with every little glance her way there was a subconscious reminder being sent up to the big mommy-headquarters above my shoulders- not all junk is junk, not every mess is a mess and the best art supplies are everywhere to be found for free. Yo Grab reminded me of the power and the beauty of creating something from nothing. At the workshop we teach lessons about reuse and of using less. But because it is what we do every day, we have to keep our adult eyes out for those special moments of random inspiration that come from the least likely of places.

Luckily it does still happen to me like it happened to Yo Grab this summer- an irresistible flash of creativity. (Most recently it was the small clear plastic cover on a new stick of deodorant- two of those and what a magnificent pair of eyes for some creature.) But what if you're not wired like Yo Grab? You might see junk and you might see a mess. Can you learn to be randomly inspired? Can you learn to see beyond what is visible and evident? And then can that skill be applied in areas of your life other than craft-time with the little ones? I think you can and I think it's good for all of us. Next time you move to throw something away, or even to throw it in the blue bin or bag, give it a second glance through Yo Grabba Grabba's eyes. See what spark a little junk can generate, and if it's not in that moment (this might take some practice), squirrel it away in a random little collection of small, silly (but clean) stuff for that cold day, that we know is not so far off, when you can practice. Maybe throw a little Deee-Lite on for good measure.