Ollie Oxford was just 6 years old when he looked at his parents and said “What am I? What can I be?” His parents looked at him and said “Ollie, you can be anything you want to be”.
“Anything?” thought he “Well, if mommy and daddy say I can be anything I want, then I want to be just like them”
The next day, Ollie decided to be just like mommy. He went upstairs and opened the studio door.
Mommy was with her paints and pastels, colours and pens, working away. She turned her back for a second and SPLASH, SLOOSH, SPLAT, a terrifying noise came from the corner.
It was Ollie, of course, covered in blue and pink mixed together. When he saw mommy he looked down and started to mutter, “I wanted to be like you but I used too much blue”.
“Oh Ollie,” said she “Be who you want to be, don’t be JUST like me. Now, clean up this mess”
The day after that, Ollie decided to be just like daddy.
He went down the stairs and opened the garage door.
Daddy was with his nails and hammer and pencils and glue, working away. He turned his back for a second and BAM,BLAM, BRAM, a terrifying noise from around the bench.
It was Ollie, of course, with a nail, some glue and a hammer too. When he saw daddy he looked down and said it once more, “I wanted to be like you but I messed up the glue”.
“Oh Ollie,” said he, “Be who you want to be, don’t be JUST like me. Now, clean up this mess”
The parents knew they had to talk to Ollie.
“But what will we say? What will we do?”
Daddy had an idea, he thought might just work, so he turned with a jerk, to the living room cabinet.
When Ollie came down for dinner that night, he was lost and upset, looking rather blue, then suddenly his parents showed him something new.
“It’s a photo album” they said “Of all your old pictures!” They opened it up and saw that inside, Ollie was in costumes from Halloween.
He was a fireman, a nurse, a ninja and a pumpkin. In each picture he had, he made a funny face or jumped up and down. He had a pirates hat on his ninja costume and a Zorro mask for his nurse.
Looking at the pictures, Ollie realized he didn’t have to be just one thing. He was creative, goofy and fun. As long as he knew who he was, it didn’t matter what he was. He could be anything he wanted to be.
August 5, 2018