Yesterday Poopzilla rampaged through the city, had a change of heart, morphed into Ben Ten and married Barbie – all this before our minivan backed out of the garage. Who needs a radio when you have an eight-year old and a five-year old who fill your car with their adventures? But what truly amuses me is how swiftly and easily their stories twist and turn. If my imagination were half as nimble and free as theirs, I’d probably have ten books by now instead of one. My characters could never hope to be as fascinating as a kind-hearted shape-shifting giant reptile that has a thing for eleven and a half inch tall plastic blondes, but hey, I’ll take them.
Alas, my imagination’s knees aren’t what they used to be. Then again, I’m not surprised. Knees, metaphorical or otherwise, tend to get creaky when they don’t get enough exercise.
From the moment we set foot in school, we’re told to stop daydreaming, sit up straight, and pay attention. Or else. It’s no wonder that as adults, we feel guilty about letting our minds wander. We draw borders around the hours of our day and cram as much as we can into each little box, making sure that every second is stuffed with something productive. God forbid that an odd idle minute is not immediately filled with tweets, pings, or clicks. What’s a poor little random thought to do, but skulk away and wait to be noticed?
Admittedly, it’s not realistic to let our imagination run away with us the way it did when we were younger and didn’t have to worry about swerving into a car in the next lane. But I suppose, it doesn’t hurt to take it for a walk once in a while and let it stretch its legs. And maybe, when the grown-ups aren’t looking, we can even let it off its leash and allow it to roam and play. It may just surprise us with what it brings back when it returns, happily wagging its tail. I’m hoping for a purple dinosaur.