Monthly Archives: October 2009
Imagination – a super power?

I  babysat my nephew Aden of two and a half, for four days. He is an absolute joy! It is refreshing being around a child this age because they are completely honest. They haven’t learnt not to be! He also helped me put a new perspective on something that I spend a lot of time considering.

Imagination. My observations of people have shown me that generally speaking, those with greater imaginations are able to achieve greater things in their lives. Unfortunately, there are few of us who are able to fully engage our imaginations in our daily lives. I think it’s because we see imagination as an innocence that can only exist in childhood. It occurs because children really believe in Santa Claus, the tooth fairy or Mickey Mouse. My nephew showed me that this isn’t entirely true. We took him to Reptilia, a zoo for reptiles and left with a happy little boy and a newly purchased green snake. When we returned home, my son Dustin named the snake “Harry” and it stuck. Harry went everywhere with Aden and he spoke to the snake constantly.

At some point I was on the floor with him and getting into the spirit of his imaginative play. “Oh no Harry!” I said “Don’t bite me!”

Aden promptly replied.”Don’t worry Marshie. He can’t bite. He’s just pretend.” And then almost condescendingly he added, “he’s just plastic.”

Wow! Children know it’s pretend and yet they can still become immersed. Which means we can too. I began thinking and remembered years ago an incident with Gabi when she was about seven. She had just begun losing teeth and was very excited each time with the tooth fairy’s arrival and deposit. One day, she came home from school and announced, “my friend told me that the tooth fairy is not real – that it’s really my parents!” I felt sad that this bubble was about to burst and spent some time trying to convince her that the tooth fairy did indeed exist. Eventually she wore me down and I told her the truth. With that, she ran to her room and cried for ages. I was puzzled. She had really wanted to know. She had even said things like, “I’m not a baby any more. You can tell me.”

Reflecting now, I think that Gabi knew all along that the tooth fairy wasn’t real but she really wanted to believe that she was. Believing was adding joy in her life and we took that away by removing the myth. I’m not suggesting that we lie to our kids but I do think that we should spend more time teaching them the importance of holding onto their imaginations. It is the super power of children and if we foster it correctly it can become the super power of adults too.

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The dog ate my homework

IMG_0188Our very cute and mischievous Havanese puppy, Oreo, ate Gabi’s homework. It was a project that she had worked on for a week and she was completely devastated. My husband and I rallied and helped her recreate it and fortunately we were successful!

I learned a few things that day. I learned that the cliche “the dog ate my homework” actually exists. I learned that it is possible for a ten-year old girl to cry for a solid 30 minutes and gush enough tears to fill a stock pot. I learned that love overcomes all. Gabi forgave Oreo when all was said and done. And finally, I learned that often, out of the worst situations arises the best and most memorable ones. We ended the evening in giggles and Gabi had great fun taking in her chewed up project to show her class the following day!

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Our Best Friend

IMG_0105Our almost fourteen year old Shipoo, Flash is sick. Actually he’s been sick for a while with an enlarged heart and two leaky valves. It really only hit home a couple of weeks ago when he began collapsing. At first it happened after he ran up two flights of stairs and but as the week progressed he seemed to need less and less activity to induce an episode. It reached a point when barking alone could topple him. Frantic we rushed him to his Cardiologist. I honestly was bracing myself for “the discussion” that every dog-owner dreads but instead she discussed adjusting medication. So we juggled a few meds and after a few days, lo and behold, he was back to his “old self.”

This experience really made me think. I asked myself, “Why was I so ready to think the worst?” Yes, it will come, but what a waste to live it before it does. Flash has been an amazing dog. He is loved by all who know him. So, from here on I am going to give him the respect that he deserves. He is happy. We don’t believe he has pain. He doesn’t know that he’s sick. So what right do I have to surround him with negativity. So Flashie, if you fall over, we’ll wait patiently for you to get up and if we have to carry you up and down the stairs, we will. This is the very least we can do for you to thank you for your years of selfless love.

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