A Child's Touch

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An object is pointless if it isn’t used. When someone uses it with purpose, it’s given life. It goes from an inanimate object to an animated one.


The greatest life givers are children––the ones with the largest imaginations. Imaginations that aren’t limited or clouded with doubt. Potential drips from their hands like sweat.


A stuffed tiger is just a stuffed tiger until a child picks it up. At their gentle and sometimes rough touch, the stuffed tiger blinks. It wakes up, roaring to life, barring its thick fangs. The polyester fur on its body becomes tuft and coarse. Its eyes gleam with a gold shimmer. The stuffed tiger is alive.


As soon as it is set down, the life flees from it. It is just one more stuffed tiger, purchased for seven dollars and ninety-nine cents. The child picks up a garbage truck. Gas exudes from its dirty muffler. It rumbles into existence, thanks to the child’s touch, the beholder of a toy’s universe.


Toys don’t lead secret lives when children are at school. They don’t converse or run a democracy built from blocks and doll houses. Without the children, they are pieces of plastic and cheap cotton stuffed and sewn into a glorified pillow case. The children lead the democracy, the utopia, the aristocracy, they initiate the conversations.


With each breath a child exhales, he exhales sweet and precious life. It’s their breaths that awaken the princesses and pull the military men from their slumber.


A doll is picked up and she is alive. Her lips part and reveal perfect, white teeth. She can feel every fiber rooted into her head prickle with life. Her skin tingles, although it is plastic. New clothes are put on her, held in the back by velcro. She is alive until she is let go.


In that moment of being held, of being played with, that toy is special––exceptionally special. Like a dream, their lives in those moments last for eternity.


Like toys, our lives are exceptionally special when we are held. We go from inanimate to animate, waking from a deep slumber. A child’s touch is pure creation, pure curiosity. When we are touched in such a way, we are alive.

Created: Mar 17, 2014

Tags: touch, story, creation, toys, children, fiction

J.M. Black Document Media