Growing Imagination

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.

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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.

The Sweet Days

When you’re working with children there are moments of panic, of terror, of absolute fear, that life is moving too quickly! And you want the time to S.T.O.P. You want today to be forever. You want your little birdies always close to you, snuggling, and smiling.Evan

These are the sweet days of life. And they have to be cherished. You only get 365 days of being with a two-year old. So soak them in.

As we watch them grow, we come to understand that these babies, these toddlers- they are growing into people, into the next generation. Someday, they will be taking care us. So let us love them now so they can love later.

The hardest part of it all, is that we come to understand the depth of the “bitter” in “bittersweet”.¬† But instead of focusing on the bitter, we must lean into the sweet. Because these truly are the sweet days and let’s live them to the fullest before they pass.

This song always reminds me of love and childhood. For me, these lyrics are the ringing anthem for two year-olds everywhere.