Sparking a child’s imagination and remembering your own

I was fortunate in that I grew up a bit rough.  I mean we weren’t scheduled until the end of the world, we played and I do mean played.  Got dirty played.  I remember making mud pies and forming little cakes and putting them in between the balusters of the front porch (that was our oven) and letting them dry.  As a matter of fact we did it so often that when our Mother made cookies we would ask if they were “dry yet”.  Did we make an absolute mess of the porch and ourselves…absolutely  But we were in the sunshine with our shiny little imaginations playing away and learning so many things. Like how much water to put in the mud so they would stay together, that it was best to put them in the sun so they would dry, and that really dirt doesn’t taste good at all!

My youngest daughter was over the other day and I showed her a little stuffed mouse that I’m making for my grand daughter that fits inside a tin (for instance a Altoids tin).  The mouse will have a pipe cleaner tail, bead eyes and a little blanket to sleep with.  I am formulating a little story to go with it when I give it to her. The story will include a description of my office and craft room (a place that Olivia loves to explore)  I thought she would enjoy the toy and she could think of her own stories for her.  My daughter must have thought this a good idea as well because she asked me why I didn’t make things like that for her when she and her sister were little.  I did, of course but not quite like that and I think that she was envious and wanted a little mouse of her own.  I was thinking for her birthday this year I’d make her a little hedgehog in a similar way so that she can keep it in her apartment for all the little ones to play with. (she has a whole group of children that adore her and she adores them), but I know that she will greatly enjoy that little hedge hog and play with it herself if I give it to her.

Don’t we all need to imagine, pretend and therefor grow?  When I am very tired and I am having trouble letting go of my stresses and my day I imagine. It’s not the mouse or the hedgehog I think of but my flowers and my garden.  This time of year I am so anxious for them all to arrive.  I imagine walking through my yard, the day lilies are blowing in the breeze and right next to them the Shasta daisies and purple cone flowers.  The rose buds would be starting and climbing half way up the banisters are the moon flowers and morning glories.  In the vegetable garden this year there will be fragrant melons, huge squashes and climbing beans that are kind of like Kidney beans.  And I think about what I want to add and what needs to get divided.  I imagine the warm sun on my back and the dragon flies floating all across the grass at the end of the day.  And then I fall asleep. Sometimes I dream of these things later.  In my mind the sky is always blue, the Japanese Beetles do not exist and all is simply beautiful. This is the world I want my grand daughter to imagine too and it all begins with a little stuffed mouse in a tiny tin that was born in Grammy’s craft room.

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