Imagined Reality

Thoughts for a three year old

I have been treasuring our time together lately because you are at this exceptionally fun phase of having developed good verbal skills yet still live in a world of your own. You are constantly chatting, questioning, and remembering but the lines of reality are constantly blurred leaving your world beautifully imagined. You make up memories and say things that are impossible – both with total conviction.

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This is a conversation we had last week about your making sense of throwing up the previous morning (your first time).

The Memory of a Bellyache

You: Remember that time I had a bellyache in the hallway?

Me: Yesterday? Yes. It is called ‘throwing up.’ It wasn’t fun, huh?

You: It made a big mess. It is a good thing we cleaned it up.

Me: Oh yeah. We cleaned it up. It’s fine.

You: If we didn’t clean it up our neighbors would step in it and say “ewww this is a messy house.” They would think it was yucky. Rose and I would step in it too. We would say “Did a tiger do this?”

Me: (Laughing out loud) A tiger?

You: Yes a tiger. But then the tiger made it nice again.

A conversation that started with your trying to process what had happened the previous morning rolled right into a story about a tiger that came to our house, got sick, but then made it nice again. I love that. Your imagining a tiger will forever be linked to the stress I’d felt while looking over the huge mess and wondering how to begin cleaning as Hunter charged over to check it out and the clock ticked closer to Rose being late for school. Thank you for enhancing that memory.

Enthusiasm, confidence, and imagination are a winning combination. Hold those qualities close to your chest. I have taken special care to not correct the reality you create, apart from when it adds stress to your life. Your reality is usually a beautiful one. I wish I could join you there most times. It adds incredible value to my day. I’m protecting it.

Others will want to force the rules they feel onto you.  As you grow you will encounter other children and adults that tell you how you are wrong. They will tell you that it didn’t happen like that. That tigers don’t come into houses or clean up messes. They won’t appreciate the value of your imagination.

I see how creative adults are the most successful. I see how rules and should have, could haves only serve to limit. I want to keep the playing field open for you. I want your world to remain as unconstrained as possible. I see your beauty.

I see how creative adults are the most successful. I see how rules and should have, could haves only serve to limit. I want to keep the playing field open for you. I want your world to remain as unconstrained as possible. I see your beauty.

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