“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” – Peter Pan
When I think back to my childhood, I remember laughing till my stomach hurt, playing for hours and hours on end, being ridiculously happy, and the biggest memory, having a wild imagination that took me into another world. And that was the best part of being a child. I remember playing jungle through our sumac trees in the backyard, pretending to be a mermaid in the bathtub water that I begged my Mom to put salt into, making up funky dances and routines on our trampoline, creating awesome forts out of boxes and blankets… all of these things, took a wild imagination. I had the whole world at my hands, I could think of anything, be anything, be anywhere, and it was thrilling to take my mind into another place, into an oblivion.
What happened to that? A child’s mind. So innocent. Nothing but playing on their simple minds.
I feel the tug of my imagination lately as Ivy wants to interact and play together. I certainly don’t have my imagination like I used to. I miss it. I wish I would have kept up my imagination and wander my mind into oblivion now and then. It was school, sports, work, career… your imagination sort of gets put on the back burner. Now, as Ivy plays and plays, I see her imagination emerging and it brings the kid life back a little bit. I see her playing in her princess gowns and fairy wings with a sparkle in her eye, and I see that spark in her change, like how I used to feel, that I could be anything. That I really was that princess or fairy, or whatever I wanted to be, and now witnessing Ivy do these things, I only want to foster that and help her imagination evolve. We are really into the books Pretend and Red Wagon, where she’s learning and understanding this imagination concept better as we “pretend” to be on a boat while we’re sailing on the coach, or when we “pretend” to be an airplane soaring through the sky. I want her to feel like a real kid who can be anything or do anything she puts her mind to.
But it’s hard. I struggle coming up with ideas, or how to act, or what to do when I see her imagination taking off. It’s like that part of me is gone. I don’t even know how to have an imagination anymore. It’s so basic as I try to play princesses with her. And I lose interest so quickly. Why is it boring for me to try to be a kid? I try to snap myself out of that immediately. (Cue – PUT PHONE AWAY music) There is hope though, I am really learning from Ivy. She now has the ideas of what to do, how to act, what to say, and we laugh and play together. She’s slowly bringing my imagination back as I am trying to foster hers. I believe I will have more of it back someday. Decades of years worth of making up to do. Things to erase from my mind of all the horror and stresses in this world. Time to just think like a kid again. Wouldn’t that be nice?
While I’m trying to work miracles with my mind going backwards 25 years, I’m going to google “fun imagination games” and go play with my children till this brain is erased of any of this mess of how to be a kid again. For goodness sakes, it’s basically just act as hysterically ridiculous as possible, right? Well that might be a good start. At least we’ll have some good laughs :)
Photos by Amie Hansen Photography