Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Imagination

I wish I were a kid again. When you're a kid you can pretend to be anything you want and everyone thinks it's completely normal. It's the power of imagination!

When I was a kid I'd pretend to be an astronaut by sticking a fish bowl on my head, putting on my dad's overalls and walking slowly around the house, examining everything like it was an amazing new discovery the likes of which had never been seen before. I pretended that my sister was some sort of alien life form, and my brother was an evil sentient race which had to be destroyed. And of course, only I knew the secret to destroying it - by throwing it's hair gel in the garbage and eating all its Tic-Tacs.

I'm older now and don't have all day to play anymore, but I love watching my daughter play. She's so imaginative! I love when Anne pretends to be a doctor. She'll grab her doctor kit and have all of her dolls lined up and ready to have their temperatures taken. She even gets my son Peter in on the act - he gets to make copies of all the dolls' health insurance cards and accept their co-pays, then make them wait in the waiting room for an hour, only for them to find out that their birth dates are wrong on the insurance form and therefore they'll have to pay in full. Genius!

[Dr. Tanory]

But it's hard to be an adult and still use your imagination. Society frowns upon adults pretending to be something they're not. Like, you can't walk around pretending to be a cop. Try explaining to a police officer that you BOUGHT a used Lofton Security jacket at a thrift store and weren't actively trying to present yourself as a cop in public. And don't even think about chopping up herbs from your garden, putting them in a Ziploc bag, and planting them on your friend when you frisk him. Other adults can't handle this level of imagination.

[Officer Tanory]

They say that having kids keeps you young. But really, I think that having kids allows you to do all of the fun things that you still want to do as an adult, but don't have any other outlet for. Like, I love watching Winnie the Pooh, but it would be kind of weird for me to sit in the living room alone at night watching Winnie the Pooh, Toy Story or Princess and the Frog every night for months on end. But when I'm with my daughter, it's perfectly natural. It's quality time!

I don't know if my daughter will pretend to be a doctor, a cowboy or a My Little Pony this weekend, but whatever she decides to be, I'll be right there with her. I might even patrol her play area in my Lofton Security jacket.

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