Believing in the Make Believe
My mother used to say the whole house could be falling down and I’d be on the floor playing with the girls, lost in our make-believe worlds. True, but they were GREAT make-believe worlds! My daughters still remember dressing up in tutus and tights, their long hair pulled up in buns, as they danced to “Beauty and the Beast.” Of course, they were princesses when they danced, but they spent plenty of time creating their own adventures. Recently, I asked them about those make-believe days and here’s what they said:
Tigers. Not just any tiger…Siberian tigers. Ballerinas and Cinderella when we cleaned floors. Dogs… and dolphins when we would swim. A bit older…Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Daughter #2)
We slid across the floor like rock stars on our knees, and “climbed” trees. I remember using a forked tree in the backyard as a “slingshot” to jump up and down. (Daughter #1)
Now that’s imagination at work!
The comment from my mother served as foreshadowing for a future career where I could create people, towns, and all sorts of emotional turmoil from my imagination. Of course, that career didn’t happen overnight. I took a few detours along the way, but eventually, I found my passion and the job that didn’t feel like a job at all…
My two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter is my latest make-believe pal. We play “tea time” with measuring cups when she’s in the tub, and I use my best British voice to entertain her. There’s also a “house” my husband repurposed from a box one of his woodworking machines came in. (No, Mr. Campisi, you’re not buying another machine, so you can re-use the box!) He cut out windows, a door, and taped photos of family and friends inside the house. I’ve thought of adding drapes to the windows from fabric remnants, and decorating the outside of the house. Who needs a fancy playhouse when you’ve got cardboard and your imagination?
This might all sound silly and somewhat crazy, but playtime relaxes my brain and opens it up to new writing ideas. Of course, playtime also creates memories, and for a grandparent, it doesn’t get much better than that