Through a Child’s Eyes

The birth of the imagination is an amazing thing to me. At what point does having pretend conversations with an invisible person, walking through imaginary doors, and eating imaginary food become something like insanity? If I were to do this while sitting at my cubicle at work, people would stare. "Who are you talking to?" my boss would ask. "Why, I'm talking with Charlie, he's right here. Don't you see him?" I point to my garbage can. Then I say, "By the way, would you like some of my birthday cake?" as I hold up my hands as if gripping two sides of a plate with a mountain of cake and ice cream on it, when really I am just holding up a manilla folder. He knows my birthday isn't until November.

Yet this beautiful gift of imagination is amazing when observed in my daughter. Ella was playing outside, and like she usually does, she gets in her Fred Flinstone car and drives/walks to different places. Now when she gets to the 'store', she gets out, opens imaginary doors, walks over to her table and opens another imaginary door and says, "Cookie!" She pretends to eat it and then it's off to some other made up place. She didn't use to do this, so it's cool to see her start using her imagination when she plays, to watch her imagination be born.

Why did God give us imaginations? Is it to stave off boredom? And why do we lose our imaginations as adults? It is not like riding a bike. The less we use it, the more we forget how to use it. As a Dad, I have to live somewhere between reality and imaginary. With my daughter, it will be pretend shopping, pretend family, and pretend princesses and knights and kings. I'll also enjoy pretending to be an army man, spy or sports star with my son when he gets older, too. I'm thankful that my daughter is teaching me about all of the amazing things that are around me, everywhere I go, if I just learn to use my imagination.