Growing up I played. Most of us did I am sure. Did we use our imagination to the fullest? I mean like blow-our-minds-up-with-fun kind of imagination? I am not talking about imaginary friends. Looking at my two youngest, I envy what they have in imagination. It is grandiose in size. It has no limits.
Recently Katie and Jeb have started really using their imagination much, much more. They still build forts out of blankets, pillows and furniture. It’s more now though. They play family or “married”. Katie will be the mommy while convincing the unknowing Jeb to be the son. Or he is the dad. Or the husband. She rarely will be the kid. They have a blast.
They love playing married. Without the bills, fighting, fussing, screaming and hollering that goes with marriage. And without kissing or that jazz. They hold hands, they will dance, use stuffed animals as their “kids” and a tent as their home. Katie calls it a home. Not a house. Not a tent. A home.
The sentiment of watching what they have as imaginary spouses makes me sad and envious both. Sad that unless something dramatically or drastically changes in the world, their marriages will never be that wonderful and full of bliss.
That is life. It’s full of hateful, stupid shit that destroys us. Deaths of family and friends, careers that you aren’t happy in, demoralizing and rotten crap we just can’t shake. The mess about what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger is a line. Stuff kills us, little by little, dream by dream.
I wish the world wasn’t like that. We do our best as parents to shield them. Well, I’ve failed them in that area plenty. By not doing a better job of being a shield. In some instances too by being the crap they should avoid in life. The pessimistic person. The sad person, the tired and doubting person.
Life should be fun. By failing them I also mean being able to get points and lessons across. Katie hit Jeb upside the head. His punishment for taking 1 of 5 play cups she was using. I’ve tried to instill sharing. To teach that. FAIL.
I am envious that I don’t have that wonderful of a marriage like Katie and Jeb in their imaginary worlds. Without the aforementioned strife. Bills are a part of life as nothing comes without a price on some level except God’s grace and mercy. I get that. But does all the other shit really have to come along in life? The bickering, fighting, strife, etc? I only pray and hope they have a good, wonderful and long life full of marital happiness when the time is right.
They also use their imagination and Mega Blocks to build houses, garages, cars, towers, castles, robots and other things. Katie just asked as I am typing this to make a cake with them. It’s her pretend birthday she said. They have used them as canes and crutches. (Thank you, Daniel Tiger for that lesson!)
Earlier this morning she asked if it was ok to use the tent as a hospital. I said yes, thinking her stuffed animals would be getting care there. No. I was informed it was where babies are born. (Daniel Tiger, you’re on it!). I just wonder who’s giving birth?!?!
The worlds and lives of little kids are wonderful. They have someone feed them, clothe them, bathe them, change their diapers and tuck them in. Kiss their boo-boos away, pick them up when they fall and hold them when it hurts.
As adults, we don’t have those things. We shouldn’t have some of those because God didn’t intend for us to have those things all our lives. Some of them however would be nice instead of what we have. I’d take someone picking me up when I fall; literally and metaphorically.
But they also see crap in the world. Stuff in society when we go out. Odd stuff you don’t have an answer for. Big purple trucks with half-dressed people painted on them. People walking pigs on leashes. Just Sunday I cringed driving our oldest to camp in Ohio. To a Christian camp. On the highway were billboards advertising 3 different “adult” stores. Yeah, try talking your way through that. I didn’t try. I ignored it.
Then the other stuff that can tarnish a little ones world image. Stuff at home like a big sister who is in her pre-teen or tween years who makes it tough by yealling at her parents or lying. Try convincing a 3-yr old not to do what her big sister does. It’s easier to piss in the wind and not get wet. Arguments of people in the house about everything from chores to dinner time to other stuff. I wish I could hit reset or erase their minds of bad things in life. Kinda like the troll erased Anna’s memory in Frozen.
As we age we forget to use imagination for fun things I believe. Well, all of us but the likes of Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and those like-minded folks. Perhaps if we could imagine and visualize fun and exciting things our adult lives would be better.
I’m guilty of pessimism, anger, strife, negativity and crap just like others. I’ve let these ideas crush things since, well, a long time. I’d like to spend the next 40 years focused on fun, dreaming, optimism and imagination. For good and betterment. I wonder if they think of imagination? Or if it just comes?
I don’t know. But for now, I will watch the imagination of a 2 & 3 year old at work.
I LOVE MY WIFE AND I LOVE MY KIDS.