I came across the most extraordinary ordinary thing a few days ago.
Actually, it's a pile of trash. The detritus of a party, waiting to be swept up. Can you tell what these were before they were trash, though?
They were sparklers. Old-fashioned sparklers, the kind that come 10 in a box, 3 boxes for a dollar. So very ordinary.
What is extraordinary is that the sparklers were the hit of the graduation party we had for our son. I bought the sparklers because I thought they might be fun for some of the guests, such as the younger brothers and sisters of the seniors. They seemed celebratory to me. But you know who really liked them? The graduates.
Somehow, I have come to think of my teenagers and their friends as so sophisticated. In fact, they are pretty sophisticated in some ways: they all have computers, they all have cell phones, they all have favorite drinks at Starbuck's. They have all experienced so much more in their lives than I had at their age.
Yet when they got together for a party, they had the best time with sparklers. As sophisticated and experienced as they are, when it was time for a party, they had the most fun playing with the same silly, fun thing that I enjoyed when I was a kid.
And somehow, in a world that seems so big and complicated, it's reassuring to know that kids are still kids. Fun is still fun. And for that matter, the mom is still the one sweeping up after the party. Solomon was right: there is nothing new under the sun.
Unwrapped with Emily at Chatting at the Sky