So I’ve been a busy nut this past however long since my last post. I bought another business, moved, made new friends and sent myself on an emotional rollercoaster of a learning experience . . . not all in that order, of course. It seems the lesson I keep learning over and over is that somewhere along the way we’ve lost our freedom to love. Bear with me as I try to paint the pictures in my head with words –

Do you remember being a child and making/having friends without thinking about it? Other kids were just automatically friends . . . .if they were in your class, on your playground, living next door, it didn’t matter. There was no effort put into making friends – no thought about will they or won’t they like me? It was as simple as, “Hi Mrs H. Can Mikey come out and play?” There was no issue with gender, size, or color.

Imaginations ran wild and it was awesome. Cops and Robbers didn’t involve toy guns – just your finger pointed in the appropriate direction with whatever noises you felt like making. Playing house didn’t involve dolls to vicariously live through or real tea sets . . . you could just imagine it.

So what happened to all that? At what point did it become to real for most folks to handle? Why do we care any more if someone doesn’t really like us for who we are . . . it’s not like there aren’t millions of other kids to play with. When did the physical interaction of a hug become inappropriate or awkward? Especially between the opposite sex? When did we become so judgemental? Who drew the lines that we have to follow now? They obviously didn’t go to the same art class that I did . . . I think we need to change that.

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So here’s the story:

Last year, while we were sitting in our living room talking about how much money we DON’T have, the boys (my hubby and his bro) came up with a great idea for a biz that I think would be uber-successful (which will never happen). Don’t ask me for details because I won’t give them (I pride myself on my optimism – you just never know). But in talking amongst ourselves we brainstormed on business names, marketing, images and eventually a logo.

Which brings me to an introduction of one of the coolest doods ever – his name is Joe. Here’s a quick bio on him (written by me, who I confess, does not know him exceptionally well): He’s one of four kids and is a twin (that alone makes him cool). Something in that gene pool makes them tremendous artists – and he’s known for it. He even has a book that he’s illustrated! We went to high school together and have one of those relationships where we can just pick up. As I said, we’re not terribly close, but neither one of us is afraid to drop a random note and check in – so that’s what I did.

Using the ever-glorious time-sucker that is myspace, I sent him a quick note about the image the boys had come up with and asked him if he could sketch something out. Within┬áhours, I had the pic that you see as my avatar and I have to say – it couldn’t have been more on point to what the boys and I were thinking. We laughed so hard when we saw it and knew it would be perfect for the business that we’ll never start but I secretly hope we do. And don’t worry Joe – if it ever happens, we totally plan on paying you!

But check out Joe and his artwork. If you see something you like – buy it and support the artist. If you don’t see anything you like – send him a note. This kid is awesome and can doodle up just about anything.