Saturday, May 12, 2012

Coloring outside the lines

Hank Ketcham, the author and illustrator for the comic strip Dennis the Menace, used his real life son as inspiration. This lovable yet precocious freckled face little boy whose penchant for mischief, was continually putting his parents patience to the test.

I believe he couldn't help himself. Truly, it's the forces of nature working against him.

For instance, you take an enthusiastic kid who's curious to a fault, has an over abundance of energy, tells it like it is and wants to get his hands on everything your doing, then wrap it up in a five year old body and tell me that's not a recipe for disaster. If anyone can attest to it, it's Mr. Wilson.

If I didn't know better, I would have thought Mr. Ketchams son was one of our very own preschoolers. A blond hair, blue eyed boy whose disposition parallels that of Dennis.

What sets these two menaces apart is our little guy doesn't come from the traditional setting where the mother is a stay-at- home mom whose always there reassuring him and offering a hug when things get overwhelming.


Our 'Dennis' lives with a foster family of five other children, has a mother who is somewhere in the system, and from the looks of his mischievous behavior, doesn't do well on visit days.

 He's fiercely independent and constantly uses his own catch phrase, "No, my do it."

He's every where but where he should be, has an inventive alternative to how things get done and, like Dennis the Menace, on an occasion, will find himself unwillingly sitting in a chair feeling misunderstood.

Who could blame him really. The only person he has control of is himself, everything else in his environment is controlled for him.

So when the winds of our 'Dennis' start blowing and you can feel a category 5 hurricane in the mist, I'll wrap my arms around the little menace and reassure him everything is going to be alright.