I write a lot about creativity as it is a huge part of my life. I try to pass it a long to my son, to instill in him the beauty of imagination and creativity. To freely express himself in whatever means. Now, my little man will be 3 years old in about a week, and I know the ways he chooses to do this will vary and grow with him. For Christmas I had given him a toddler digital camera, which he has fallen in love with. Taking pictures of anything and everything, asking to get his picture taken. He also enjoys doing crafts, asking me to bring him home crafts from work. This, of course, makes me smile. Here I have done it, I have passed on my passion for creativity to my son, but of course, everyone has their own way of creating, their own imagination.
The imagination of a child is a wonderful thing really. As of late, my little one has begun to ask me to follow him. So I do, and we walk around the house at least 20 times, as he narrates to me which way we are going, and slowly but surely he will add more detail. The other day, he was sitting on his little couch, I was standing in the doorway talking to his grandpa, when all of the sudden he yells MOM! So I respond the way I always have with HAYDEN! This goes on and on a few times, until he quiets down and is just whispering. Now, this time I could tell he wasn’t just saying mom, he was actually saying something I couldn’t understand. So i approached him, wondering what it was that he had to tell me. I had to get real close to hear. “We have to be quiet, because of the monsters.” Okay… Now this is where I clicked in, he was pretending. So I responded with “Oh, okay, shhh”
So with a big smile on his face he stood up very quietly, grabbed my hand and whispered “Will you tip toe with me?” Of course, how could I refuse to dive into the mind of a 3 year old right? So we tip toed across the hall and into his bedroom where he heaved a sigh of relief and ran around his bed. “Hurry! Have to climb the mountain!” Up and over the bed we went, with a “Made it!” once we did. He grabs my hand again as we head towards the door to the hallway once again. “Tip toe!” He whispers. And we do, we tip toe back to the living room as he tells me we are on an adventure. We have to get to the boat. The long journey there was quite a travel. Trying not to wake the monsters as we passed the kitchen. Just ten more tip toes and we were there.
Sitting in the boat (on the floor) he tells me we have to get our life jackets on. Now here is the interesting part. Hayden has never been in a boat, nor has he had a fear of monsters under the bed. He just randomly came up with it all on his own. My smile gets bigger as I proceed to click on my imaginary life jacket and he instructs me to put the flag up. I watch him intently as he rows us into the ocean and uses his pretend binoculars to spot land. He docks the boat and once again, we have to tip toe to avoid waking the monsters as we head for a train. This train just so happens to be in the same spot as the large mountain we had to climb, but to him it is a totally different world.
We board the train and after a few “CHOO CHOOS!!” We arrived at yet another destination. This time, we were on our way to find a treasure. Turns out, the treasure was in the kitchen the whole time! We dug it up with our shovels and heaved it into the living room to bring it on the boat. Repeating the whole adventure over again, taking the exact same route only in reverse. It amazes me at how much he can remember even if it is something he makes up on the spot. Upon bringing the treasure back to where we started, we opened it up and there it was, our gold. The smile on his face was priceless, and mine grew even bigger.
I fell in love with him over again that day, and I swear I do every time he surprises me like this. He has such an active imagination and I love him even more for it. The fact that I can inspire him through what I do, how I play with him is an amazing feeling and I love that he will go on to inspire others in whatever it is he will do. Take pride in your children and they will take pride in you. Dream big and they will dream big. Go to the mountains and beyond to find your treasure, play with your children and go along with whatever their imagination brings to them.
But please, don’t wake the monsters.