I firmly believe that a child’s ability to imagine sets them apart from adults.
This difference is beautiful and intriguing. And okay, if we’re being honest, sometimes this difference is hilarious, really hilarious. I mean, aren’t we all enthralled when we watch the little chickadees travel to England on a purple dinosaur to battle eleven flying monkeys by throwing waffles? (you can’t make that up, you just can’t!)
But this difference is also irreversible. And, once a child loses his imagination they in turn lose their innocence. Sadly, however, the ability to imagine is fleeting. So, we must harvest it in our little ones while we can. We must encourage it and embrace it, egg it on more than we think is necessary. We must do everything in our power as caregivers to stretch its growing season as long as we can.
So what do you do to harness your child’s imagination?
When I was living in Georgia, the girls had a dinosaur (*he lived in the backyard and to us adults he bore a strong resemblance to a fallen tree*). Bold and exotic, yet surprisingly friendly he would offer his scaly back for afternoons of climbing and adventure. Together they would ride to unknown lands until dinner was served. The dinosaur was a confidant for the girls. He allowed them to escape reality and challenge their minds. He allowed them to play, and he didn’t ask any questions. He was a welcomed member of the family, a talked about character at the dinner table, a sought refuge on boring afternoons. And years later, he is missed everyday. But more importantly, he is remembered, always.
I challenge you to look around for your children– to find a dinosaur for your own family. They’re out there, you know? You just have to use the eye of a child to find them.