Thursday, August 02, 2007

On Imagination

From my vacation journal, written on 7/14/07.

The other day my son announced to me that, "my imagination is as big as the universe." That is surely the truth.

JT and D, his camping playmate, developed three games that they played at our campsite. Each day, they'd spend a good chunk of their time playing Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Hunters. The first two games involve the assignment of characters and skills; the third is a game of routine: they'd gather things up for an imaginary camp, then build the camp, cope with the imaginary disaster that inevitably descends, then repeat the routine. At the beach, they claimed an abandoned boat, shoveling out the sand and imagining that they are sailing off on an ocean adventure.

Other than terms (the bad guy in the Harry Potter game is Draco Malfoy; in Star Wars it's Darth Vader), I don't hear or see an enormous difference in the games. Good guys always prevail. JT and D are always the heroes. They've dubbed the space behind our tents "the dark alley" and much of the big action of the camp games takes place there, away from the prying eyes of the adults.

I love the way that their light saber toys are incorporated into all of the games. I admire the manner in which their imagination transcends the real world. I am impressed at the way that they have organized their play. Though it may seem the same to me, each day the game is new to them. And I love the fact that their collective imagination takes them wherever they please. To my adult eyes and ears, this is the amazing wonder of childhood. Each day when they'd play, I'd spent a quiet moment eavesdropping on the game and for a moment, wishing that I could still play along.

1 comment:

JAXTER said...

this reminds me about how my cousins and I would play...and I didn't think there was enough time for kids to play like that anymore - it is fantastic to hear that I am wrong!