Leap Year Lesson #350: Hang On to Imagination

Posted: December 16, 2012 in Imagination
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imaginationThis morning I spent an hour with four young children – two boys who will be three years old in a few weeks and two girls who are each four years old.  I wish I had a video of the time because it was fascinating.  I haven’t been around that much imagination in a long while.

In the span of 60 minutes, here are some of the things that happened:

  • they surfed around the room on Styrofoam surfboards, occasionally being eaten by sharks and dying, but nothing that pixie dust couldn’t cure;
  • one boy gave both girls quite thoughtful haircuts – he’s a natural; 
  • they all danced as couples, lining up in what I thought might be a chorus line at any moment;
  • they ate various foods, one of them fixing me the yummy breakfast of a waffle, an Oreo cookie, peas, and a bagel (which I mistakenly identified as a donut until corrected);
  • they argued over who would be which Disney character, changing roles as needed;
  • they took a while to figure out who would play whom in the story of baby Jesus (I must’ve missed the part about the mermaid in the Bible);
  • they took cover under the tables several times from sundry threats, occasionally dying, but nothing that pixie dust couldn’t cure;
  • they negotiated with the cleverness of a used car salesman;
  • they argued over which black baby doll would be Jesus in the manger, agreeing after a while that Jesus had a twin brother, so they could keep both;
  • they all put on skirts for various roles;
  • one seemed to be the most authoritative and eager to “suggest” what the others should do, with suggestions from others OK once they were her ideas;
  • there were a few moments of physical confrontation that needed intervention.

All in all, it was a very eventful hour.  I’m sure I’m forgetting most of what happened.

When I compare the imagination of each of these wonderful children today to that of most adults (including myself), I can’t help but wonder where we lose that capacity – or, if not the capacity, then the willingness to be imaginative.  Adults need much more of that.

Leap year lesson #350 is Hang on to imagination.

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