Being woken at 5am to gale force winds, water cascading down the walls of your bathroom, water flowing in under the kitchen door, and ‘rain drops’ dripping from the corner of the kid’s room doesn’t make for a very fun start to the day. And things just went from bad to worse as the morning wore on. No electricity in parts of the house, which also means no running water. A school project to do in a week already full of extra activities. Two outfits to be purchased last minute for a violin concert and the baby’s birthday party to be cancelled. By lunch time I was on the verge of loosing it.
As I sat there wallowing in my self pity, wondering how the weather gods could be so cruel to us yet again (we had our new foundations flooded three times in the very early days of the renovations), my big boy put his hand on my knee and said…
“Don’t worry Mum…. we can always play dinosaurs.”
As we located and dragged out the box of dinosaurs, poked holes in bits of cardboard for branches of leaves and collected some grass for ‘dinosaur food’ I was struck by how important imagination is.
I’ve blogged about imaginative play before, and even wrote this article for Natural Parenting about why it is so important for our kids to making up your their stories, create their own little world, and get lost in the wonderfulness of it all… but there is one important reason our kids should use their imaginations that I forgot.
Having a great imagination as a child, will hopefully mean that you retain those skills as an adult.
Being able to imagine something different, something better, than your current reality is what hope is all about. Without an imagination I couldn’t see past the wet and soggy disaster that is our house at the moment, and see the amazing beautiful space it will become when the renovations are finished. Without imagination I couldn’t close the door, block out the noise of the wind, and pretend, just for a little while, that the mess isn’t there. I need my imagination to help me escape and take a mental break from all the stress.
So as I sat and roared like a Muttabuttasauras and pondered the question of who would win in a fight between a T-Rex and a Triceratops I was thankful to have a small boy with a big imagination to help take me away, into his world… just for a little while.
Have you got a good imagination? Do you use it?