The creative power of red fuzzy dice

The other day my ten-year-old son came home from a trip to the arcade with a pair of red fuzzy dice. You know, the kind you hang on your rearview mirror, if you happen to be a fuzzy dice kind of person, which…I am not. He hands them to me with a big grin.

“Here Mom! I got these for you. I won enough tickets to get something for me and for our family.”  His face is beaming with a degree of happiness that I see less and less as he grows older and “cooler.”

I hold the dice in my hands. They are very fuzzy. Very huge. Very red. Very noticeable. This was not going to be like wearing the bracelet made out of macaroni. This would be more like wearing the brown paper bag hat decorated with stick figure puppies and “Mom” all over it. In public.

Now, don’t get me wrong–it’s not like I’m too sophisticated for fuzzy dice. One of my favorite Christmas items is a red Santa baseball hat with reindeer antlers, which I have been known to wear while we decorate the tree. At home. With just the family. But it’s not like I wear it to the grocery store, at work or the gym.

These fuzzy dice, on the other hand, would be seen at all of those places and more. People would point. Laugh. Shake their heads and roll their eyes. I do not enjoy attracting attention to myself in general, but few people enjoy being mocked and ridiculed. I’m a 41-year-old mom of two living in the suburbs driving a truck; fuzzy dice would definitely look like I was trying too hard. (To do what exactly, I have no idea.) I figured, worst case, I could leave the dice up for a few days, the novelty would wear off, then I could remove them quietly without “anyone” the wiser.

So my boy and I went out to my truck and hung the fuzzy dice on the rearview mirror . They jiggled. They were definitely big and extra red. We giggled. We laughed and pointed. My daughter laughed. Hubby shook his head. It was a typical Miles family moment, almost as good as the time I gave my mother-in-law, who hates the squirrels who steal all the bird food from her backyard, a pair of squirrel underpants. But that is another blog post.

It’s been two weeks of Red Fuzzy Dice life now, and I am surprised to report that I am, in fact, a fuzzy dice on the rearview mirror kind of gal after all. Every time I see them, it makes me smile. When I climb into the truck on any given morning when I’d much rather be home in bed, or when I climb back in again at the end a long, exhausting workday, the first thing I see is Big Red Fuzzy Dice and I think of my son’s face the day he gave them to me. I think about how happy I am that he’s the kind of kid who thinks about getting something for his family when he’s out at the arcade and feel a glimmer of hope that maybe I haven’t screwed him up too much. Yet. I think about how a million other things in the world may be going to hell in a handbasket, but for this one moment in time, life is very fuzzy, very red and very very good.

Get creative: Where do you keep mementos that remind you of happy, special times, people or places? Are they in a box or drawer, locked up or forgotten about? Bring them out, display them in your home, office or creative space. Better yet, find new ones. Choose something unexpected or totally opposite of what you “think” you are like. Take a moment to look at your mementos each week or before you begin your creative work. See what happens.

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