In my childhood, my mom always shared this story. I’m not sure if it was her favorite or just because it was convenient or my favorite. However, the impact of this story follows me to this day. I nearly forgot about it too. But, in this season of reflecting, I’m remembering.
To bring some clarity to the memory, as well as for the benefit of the portfolio story influenced by the memory, I will attempt to recreate a small part of the story of my childhood.
While this story was told to me several decades ago, and from what I can recall, the story was already decades old, I will only use my memory to retell a little segment of the whole… as to not violate any copyrights that may still be in place.
Caps over a wall.
Two friends asked their parents to go play with friends on the other side of town. These were the days when children were free to walk about town during the day and not worry about anything nefarious or malicious happening to them.
Their father made them promise to their mother that they would be back by the time it was dark, with the caps on their head. See, in those days, everyone who wanted to be taken seriously wore a cap of some sort. Societal ranks could be spotted by the type of hat, but these boys didn’t care.
Dad did though. Caps were expensive. Mom preferred not to have to make a new one or wash them either. Plus, keeping your things was a smart idea.
As it was, the boys enjoyed the adventure. On their return, they decided to take a shortcut home, as it was getting pretty late.
While laughing and recalling all the fun they had, they didn’t realize they had taken a few wrong turns. The sounds of their neighborhood was getting louder, they were close to home.
But then, they ran into a big concrete wall. As far as they could see to the left or right, there was concrete. Not sure what to make of it, they set about trying to find a hole in the wall to cross. But alas, none was found.
Nothing they did gave them the ability to cross. The older even offered to boost his brother over, but the risk of falling on the other side made little guy too nervous. Granted, the wall was probably too tall even with a boost.
The sun was setting really fast. They had to get over quickly to make it in time for dinner. The consequences of not making it on time was too much for them to entertain.
Suddenly, a weird idea came to mind. Why not throw the caps over the wall.
(memory is a bit unclear as to why they decided to do so… but… mother found a lesson for me to get from that…)
Now, with the caps over the wall, a huge sense of urgency gripped the boys. Not only could they not come home without the caps, wasting time on this side of the wall increased the risk of someone discovering the caps and walking away with it.
The boys worked feverishly and creatively to twists vines into ropes. Having found rocks to weigh down one end of the newly made rope, they threw the ropes over the wall.
With a boost, the younger found himself on top of the wall, with the older holding the vines, he safely made it to the other side. Before long, both boys, dust covered, were running home in time for dinner.
The boys had a lot to lose if they didn’t make it home with their caps. Based on how I recalled it, my mom used that story to teach us how to care for our things as well as how to push past academic challenges. In the story, these two boys became rocket scientist who eventually helped shape the space program (this was not fact checked at all.. This is the memory of what mom dearest taught me). Any time they ran into serious challenges, these boys remembered their story with their caps. They dreamed of landing on the moon and they saw the first man walking on the moon because they never doubted the ability to overcome all challenges.
This story got me through many school challenges. One of which was a teacher telling me I could never speak correctly and should never ever try to speak on stage in front of large audiences. Something I routinely do and have been doing for a long time by the way.
It’s the story that kept my hope alive when it was time to go to college with no funding and allowed me to graduate with zero college debt. It pushed me to find creative ways to make more than $7/hour by teaching what I knew for way more than that low hourly rate. It helped me leverage talents for income.
This story helped me face tough odds and get into all kinds of other difficult and prestigious studies in life. This story has served me very well.
Today, after having forgotten that story for some time… I’m glad to remember this. I want to overcome these near impossible walls I’m facing. The kinds that keep you up late at night worried. OK, I learned a long time ago not to stay up worrying. However, you get my point. I want to get past these walls that feel very stifling.
I’m so glad to recall this story right now and sharing it with you. It’s the exact motivation I need to make massive dreams come true and allow my children to have a shot at their own dreams. While I rarely put myself so transparently out on my blog, today, I had to just let a bit of steam fly.
I’m thinking about 2018 and all the changes that will have to take place in that year. I’m looking at all the breakthroughs of this year and all the growth of this year. The stepping stones reminding me I can handle what is coming.
Thank you for following this blog (and for those who follow all my other writing… I’m hugely honored!!!!!)
Hope you’re inspired by this post and the short story I created based on the memories of this post. Link below.
The Brick Wall
The promised link below…. just click on the image or title to be directed to the full post
- Caps Thrown over a Wall - Certain stories in childhood leave impressions for a life time. The mindset from one particular story is coming back to me as I set up for 2018. Rise up to the challenges of life. Challenge your challenges. Figure it out. The story of a boy throwing his cap over a wall still motivate me several decade later
- The Brick Wall - Taking a story from childhood and remixing it into the blog's original go at poetry Life lessons on having the right mindset for success