Monday, October 27, 2008

Just Imagine

"Mom, what if every time it thundered, fireworks fell out of the sky?"
~ Sloane, age 6

Oh! Just imagine.

Sloane said that and a mini-movie began in my head. I saw scared, tear-smeared faces and tense little bodies. Noses were pressed to the window as the children nervously waited for the next boom to rattle the panes and scare them witless. The wait wasn't long, but instead of tears, the room filled with delighted giggles as the sky bloomed in flowers.

One sentence from a child and my mind is a whirl. After I emerged from my daydreams, I rushed to write down her words. I couldn't bear the thought of losing them.

Sloane's delightful comment started me thinking about imagination. I've always been pretty good at playing along and daydreaming with her. I happily join her for a game of Barbie. I dress and redress Josephina. I spend hours telling stories of the "Girl Scout Cookie Sleuths". We provide paints, paper, an easel, and endless craft supplies. We have family read aloud every day. Sloane is not seven yet and she's planning to go to school on Friday as Bilbo. (The assignment is to come as your favorite book character.) If we can't swing a believable Bilbo costume, she's informed me that Peter Pan is her second choice. Most nights, before she drifts off to sleep, we pick a place to meet in our dreams. Last night we met at the tippy-tip-top of the Space Mountain ride. Afterward we went to that place with the terrific cheese fries. "What if...?" is one of our favorite games.

I thought I had the imagination/ creativity portion of my mommy-job-description pretty well covered. We play. We read. We tell stories. We pretend. We craft. I try hard not be in too much of a rush to clean up the messes. Sloane takes gymnastics for her body and piano for her mind. I take this play thing pretty seriously, you see. In fact, one of my friends describes me as a party waiting to happen. I described myself here once as having a real talent for fun. And then...

Isn't it funny how our children teach us lessons without even trying?

In the months since Sloane invented her own kind of fireworks, I've been paying close attention to her imagination. Since I let Sloane take charge, life has been pretty exciting around here.

We have...
traveled inside a rainbow.

met the off-Broadway cast of The Little Red Hen.

been on a picnic with a panda. We ate Chinese food, of course.

kept company with a fairy.

gained a new fashion sense.

been to an art show with a tambourine-playing Star Kitty.

enjoyed many gourmet meals.

been to the beach several times.

Oh yes. Life is much more fun when you live in the Imagi Nation. What have you been imagining?

I took all these pictures in the past few months, except the first one. Sloane took that.


spread your wings said...

the imagination of a child is a wonderful thing and a parent to meet them there is even better.
i'm thinking i might try escaping to the "beach" soon. i can just feel the warmth of the sun in that photo - great colors

ELK said...

RELYN what a wonderful "story" you have shared this day with true and interesting photos to match...continue to encourage her imagination as the world out there can so easily squash it~

Laura said...

What a delightful post! It should really win an award or something!

I love the things Sloane has come up with! I am going to try to live in ImagiNation today!

Jaime said...

Sloane has a magical spirit!

I traveled inside that very same rainbow last week as I watched purple and green suds float over my windshield. Now I wish I had taken a picture too!

You two have something truly amazing together. I teach so many kids that are so over scheduled that I feel sad they aren't able to just be kids and play and dream and get lost in their own imaginations. You two are nurturing that within each other, together. What a beautiful beautiful thing. I am enchanted by the idea of picking a place to meet in your dreams...the adventures you must take together!

Thank you for this little nugget of childlike wonder.
Hugs to you both.

Jeanne said...

Here's a toast to children
the absolute delights of this world.
Lovely post.
I love all the photographs and the star image made from fingertips.
Love you

Caroline said...

What a fun post! Imagination is wonderful...we can't forget the power of our dreams and thoughts! I will spend some time imagining...

Christina said...

I tell you all the time, that child of yours is beautiful! Ahh.. this is a beautiful post that reminds me to let my imagination run wild.

Ragamuffin Gal said...

I LoVe this Post!!! It is FaBuLous!
Also got your reading updates - SpLenDiD! Saw Secret Life of Bees! Posted a picture of darling Sloane on both blogs. Can't wait to see you tomorrow. I miss you darling daring wonderful friend.

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