As much as I will deny it, I was a child once. And I wasn’t always a responsible child. I would wriggle out of doing my homework and go play outside, falling into a world of my own imagining. This world was not a solitary one. The neighbor kids were there with me and we built upon the worlds we’d established. Yes, that bush was the dungeon and over there, by that tree was where we had our sword lessons. And “Mom, that’s not a bike, it’s a horse!”
Such was my childhood, imagining worlds that were as real as anything else (for truly, a child’s imagination brings everything to life and makes it as real as, well, reality). Even inside, my imagination wouldn’t stop. My bunk-beds were the narrow bunks on a ship. My stuffed animals were fierce protectors of the realm.
I think, for me, writing was a way to channel my imagination as I grew out of the age at which such play is acceptable. As we grow up, we are told to put away childish things, to prepare for the real-world and face it head-on. I disagree. I believe that the creativity children express should be cherished and encouraged. We should be telling them to hold onto that, because the real-world can be a hard place and everyone needs a little comfort of imagination – why else would we flock to fiction? Not because it teaches (for although I believe that most firmly, there are many who disagree and treat books as an escape rather than an opportunity to grow).
The games we played as children don’t go away, anyway. We may say they do, but we’re all children at heart – or at least there is our self as a child in our heart. Don’t trap that child. Let the creativity flourish, let yourself dream up different worlds full of wonder and worry. Tell yourself a story, and then share it with someone else. Humans are born to tell stories. Don’t let society tell us otherwise.
Take care, fellow travelers.