Watching Kenzie play has become it’s own adventure. Seeing her imagination develop, from handing me straw that is spaghetti to interacting with “fairy dancing girls” and writing things down in an imaginary Big Book of Boo-Boos is an amazing journey for me. She hasn’t learned the limitations of what is possible, and she can pretend anything she wants, because she isn’t bogged down with responsibility or the mundane just yet.
It’s bittersweet to watch this, as I realise that I have lost my ability to do so. Yes, I can play games where aliens exist, or read books about elves, but none of that comes from my imagination. It comes from the author’s. But at the same time, there is hope. In realising that I have lost my sense of wonder and fantasy, maybe I can recover it.
And in typing that, I come to an understanding of why children are our greatest gift, to the world and to ourselves. They are the hope of a future greater than the present, they fix the problems we create. They encourage us to look beyond what we see.
I dread the day Kenzie suffers her first broken heart, her first life altering disappointment, or the loss of a loved one. I just know her eyes will shine a little less bright that day, and her imagination will take a back seat as she comes to terms with a fact all adults have had to – life is brutal.
I’ve failed in recent times to shield her from this, worse, I have been the cause of some of the problems she has faced. Going forward I want to delay her having to deal with that as much as possible so she can have the best possible chance of maintaining her amazing imagination.