Inspiration - If Chocolate Were Purple

A few years ago my daughter and I were sitting in the parking lot outside of Subway. Emma was 11 or 12, old enough to be feeling her independence, but still young enough that I hadn’t become a complete embarrassment. Ahhh, the good old days...

We were on our way home from her karate practice (I think) and had stopped to grab something easy for dinner. She’d gotten a little brownie to go with her usual ham and cheese (lettuce and mayo only) and was unwrapping it as I started the car.

I looked over and shook my head. In under five minutes she'd managed to get chocolate all over her face. "You need to get it together," I laughed. "You're getting too old to be wearing your dessert."

"Maybe," she said, “but what if chocolate was purple?” She smiled and took a big bite, the gooey brown chocolate sticking to her teeth. "Then think how fabulous I'd look."

“What?” I asked.

She held her half-eaten brownie up and raised her eyebrows. “Chocolate. What if it was purple? It’d be cool. And then this brownie wouldn’t look like smashed poo.”

Now it was my turn to raise my eyebrows.

But she was right. It did look bad. We cracked up and laughed the whole way home, thinking of all the delightful ways things would change if chocolate were a brilliant shade of bright purple instead of brown. It was so silly, so light and freeing, that it made me feel like when she’d been a toddler, like when the world was brand new and anything was possible, like having rainbows for lunch was actually an option. I loved her so much for asking the question that I began to think of how things would change, not only in the foods we eat, but in the world, if chocolate were purple.

I let my imagination go and began to ask What If?

In a very short period of time, as if I’d been possessed by a silly bug, I wrote If Chocolate Were Purple. It was a glorious bit of letting go, of revisiting a time when pirate ships built of blankets stretched over couches and chairs almost everyday, where swords and dragons were always with us, and hospitals were called Princess Castles. I’ve tweaked the poem, of course, since then, but the heart of the matter is the same. Even if the whole world turned upside down, even if roller skates grew on trees and chocolate were purple, I’d still love you.

Thanks, Emma, just for asking the question. You are my heart. ♥