It’s no secret that a child’s imagination and ability to indulge in fantasy worlds are often superior to that of a jaded grown-up’s. Yesterday, I got the opportunity to flex my creativity in a last-ditch effort to salvage my sanity, which was fading fast.
While working from home, my children fought CONSTANTLY from the moment my older son got home from his half-day at school. “Mommy, <older son> hit me!” followed by, “Well, he annoyed me!” Soon after trailed by, “Mooooommmmmm (spoken in two syllables) <younger son> took my toy!” then answered by whining, “He wouldn’t let me play, and I wanted to!”
It would be four hours until my husband got home. I had to transport my mind somewhere else before I lost it forever. I closed my eyes and remembered my younger son’s morning playtime. Hunkered down with his stuffed kitty (aptly named, “Kitty”) in his magical tent made of chairs and blankets, they devised a plan to fight off a bear that waited outside. He typed stuff in his computer (Lite Brite) by the light of the moon (window above our door.) Finally, he and Kitty came out and after a fierce fight, they defeated the bear.
I opened my eyes and felt a hint of a smile on my face. I breathed deeply and exhaled slowly, allowing the calm to flow through me. I got back to work, only to be interrupted ten minutes later with the tell-tale signs of sibling discord (screaming, whining, arguing, sounds of scuffling, and then crying). Time for plan B.
I channeled my inner drill-sergeant and got them moving. In no time, they were picking up toys (“Anything left on the floor will be given away!”), cleaning bathrooms (“That toothpaste better be scrubbed off the cabinet!”), and dusting tabletops (“Whoever has the dirtiest cloth wins!”) Meanwhile, I released my pent-up frustration into vacuuming the floors. Back and forth I went over the carpet and tile until the frown lines creasing my forehead smoothed out and my frustration didn’t feel like it would burst through my skin. By the time we were done, all of us were too tired to argue. Peace at last.
On occasion, I have mourned the loss of my childhood imagination but, on this day, my goal-driven adult creativity ruled. And with that, my sanity will live to be tested see another day.
Have a magical weekend!
Which would you rather have: a child’s fantasy-driven imagination, or an adult’s goal-driven creativity?