While driving the other day, I noticed the cloud formations. I saw the shape of a rabbit which morphed into a duck. I remembered what fun it was as a child to watch the clouds and announce what we saw. We wondered if anyone else saw the same thing.
It brought me to a vivid recollection of being in my attic as a child. I had a Raggedy Ann doll close to my height. She had straps on the tops of her feet. I would dance with her undisturbed in the quiet. I thank goodness no one ever stopped me, asked me what I was doing, or made fun of me or this connection. To this day it is a delightful memory of my innocence. I value the sense of peace I found and the comfort I received from this.
Many children have invisible friends. My nephew had one for several years. Despite a few qualms about continuing his engagement, we allowed him to maintain his connection. When we asked what his friend thought and/or what he said, lovely responses came forth. Turns out his friend held some innate wisdom. Some of the things he said were far beyond what one would expect of a child.
Another friend of mine had a daughter who told her what the cat was saying to her. She would repeat what Pete said during their dinner conversation. It was adorable.
A doll that comforts, a cat that talks, an invisible friend are all fuel for a healthy imagination.
We often celebrate our reality-based thinking. We may feel it may be wise to stop these kinds of exchanges, but when we allow children to enjoy these flights of fancy, we do them a great service.
Our imagination is an impressive and lifelong friend if we embrace it and allow it to expand. Let us try to fan its flames in our own life and in the lives of children we may encounter.
Can we let our children indulge in this kind of precious fantasy? The world takes it from us far too soon.