My friend, Jenni, talked me into going to a two day class this week. She didn't have to twist my arm too hard as it was a class about writing. The timing was good and I thought it would be just what I needed to re-frame my teaching mind from special education to regular education. The first day, we walk in to find the table scattered with objects: tape measures, matches, hair ties, band-aids. Really, just ordinary things. The prompt was to choose one of those items and write about it for 20 minutes or so. I picked the band-aid. Honestly, going in, I had no idea what would be the final product of this little writing experiment. I figured I would come up with something funny as I would have to share it with these people and I didn't even know them. My innate sarcasm usually helps me out in these situations. It certainly wasn't the time to go deep. But, as I put that blue pen to paper, it seemed out of my control, this story that emerged.
We called her the Band-aid Queen. She lay reclined on her hospital bed throne wearing a crown of blonde curls and a smile, despite the tubes attached to her tiny arms. Next to her, the ever present IV pole stood like a sentry standing guard. Every two hours, came a person in brown scrubs pushing an ominous looking cart full of stuff. The little girl sat, brave and stoic, while the person poked her finger and milked a drop of blood. The drop registered on a machine to tell us if her blood sugar was high or low so we could determine our next course of action. The little girl didn't care why, to her it just hurt. That is until the person in brown smiled and offered her a Band-aid. The smile returned to her face and her eyes lit up as she chose bright pink to compliment the yellow, green, and orange already adorning her delicate fingertips. To her, that pretty little Band-aid made things all better. To me, that Band-aid was resilience.
Thirteen years later, I am watching that Band-aid Queen, her blonde halo still intact, struggle with where to go next in her life. I wish that a simple pink Band-aid would return her twinkling giggle and her confidence in life. Despite the knowledge that this time a Band-aid can't literally, "make it better," there is comfort in the knowledge that resilience still stands guard.
That is what I read to the group, feeling slightly embarrassed. The writers before me were humorous and fun. I have no idea why these thoughts had chosen now to flow like a river in front of virtual strangers! But, that is the magic of writing and maybe even life, isn't it? You just don't know the stories you can tell.
As a side note, Tylie chose her college today and decided to attend BSC for a year. She has huge hopes and dreams and can't wait to get them started. It was difficult for her to start small and stay at home for a year. Her fingers are no longer decorated with colored Band-aids but she wears her resilience like a badge. I can't wait for the rest of her story!