Yesterday, August 28, was Crackers Over the Keyboard Day. On that day, folks who ordinarily keep sticky bits of toffee, brimming cups of coffee, or morsels of tuna from yesterday’s lunch far from their workspaces (and their beloved computer keyboards) just kick over the traces and live large.
Of course, you could take Crackers Over the Keyboard Day literally, and fetch those Goldfish or Triscuits out from their exile in the bottom drawer of your desk, where, together with that jar of peanut butter, they’ve been helping to eke out those hastily-made lunches that looked healthy on the counter (“Salad and an apple! Yum!) but merely look pathetically inadequate once 11:45 a.m. rolls around.
I prefer to regard Crackers Over the Keyboard Day as a metaphor (Q: What’s a metaphor? A: To keep the cows in). I believe that COtKD represents the essential human need to take risks, to live life on the edge, and to move beyond the boundaries of safety. I have shorted out a keyboard by spilling coffee on it, my friends, and it was a tragedy worthy of any Greek playwright’s quill (well, technically it was our dog who spilled the coffee–I merely left the half-full cup beside the keyboard. He was the one who drank it, then wiped his chin across the keyboard. A huge dog with a coffee jones: not a good combination.)
What does all this have to do with toys, you ask? Well, not much, at least not directly. I guess I could talk about how childhood is all about moving beyond one’s comfort zone (if children didn’t do that, we’d never grow up, and we’d spend our adulthood lying in bed, drinking from enormous bottles. Think of trust fund kids and junior Royals) and reaching out to the next rung on the playground ladder, uncertain as to whether we’ll be able to swing along its entire length to Success or whether we’ll have to drop down into the Sand Pit of Failure. COtKD reminds us that, as parents, sometimes we need to let our children take risks–even small risks–in order to find out what works and what doesn’t, what’s worth it and what’s not. Risk-taking can be a positive force, a step forward in life, as long as it is done with calculation and forethought.
So, go ahead and reach for that Triscuit while you’re working on the monthly budget spreadsheet. Live large, my friend, and encourage your children to do the same.
Just keep the Dustbuster charged and ready. You might need it.