Thursday, 18 August 2011

Imagine all the people

There was one day last week where it didn't rain at all.
It was actually quite a nice day, with blue skies, a little bit of warmth and a little bit of wind.
(The weather kind, not the...other kind.)
So first and foremost being English, I knew that I had to make the most of a nice day, because even in 'summer' the aforementioned conditions are never guaranteed,
and secondary to that being a nanny, I knew that if we spent the day away from the house the day would go by that much faster.
So I packed up a little picnic, bundled the two munchkins into the car and took them to Kirkstall Abbey. 
Fast forward the car journey and the picnic
(although as a picnic related side note, what is the appropriate way to react when a child spits out a completely masticated cheese sandwich and just lets it ooze out of his mouth and down his chin? Gross)
and freeze frame at this moment...
 Amy folding her arms and looking borderline grumpy.
At first I mistook this for her physically showing me that she was sick of me taking her picture,
but it was actually her five year old way of trying to work out something completely ridiculous to her in her own mind.
"Becky, why does this place not have a roof?
Where has it gone?"
Keen to nail down my role as an annoying, cryptic adult, I naturally answered her question with a question.
"What do you think happened to it?"
She's silent for a few minutes and then offers me two options.
1). The Queen of the witches used to live here and when she moved out she took it with it her.
(Why had I not thought of that? It seems so obvious now...)
Or 2). Some robbers and burglars stole it.
(Actually, she said some robbers and burgers stole it, 
which makes for quite an interesting mental picture, 
but I'm pretty sure she meant burglars.)

Couple this small display of her imagination filling in the gaps,
with her falling over a baby squirrel in her bedroom
and a thousand other examples of her being completely content to play in the recesses of her own mind and you have to admit, this kid has quite the imagination.
But wait, don't all kids?

I was a kid once, where has my imagination gone?
Actually, has it even gone anywhere? Or has it just changed?
Because when I made dinner last night, I didn't follow a recipe or any instructions.
I just took some ingredients, made up a method and served up some stuffed peppers. Bam.
It takes imagination to do that right?
And when I get dressed everyday I think of how the colours, patterns and textures of what I want to wear will look together as an outfit.
That takes imagination too, right?
And for crying out loud, I'm going to be a teacher.
Surely pretty much everything about that requires imagination?

Hmm, I think that a lot of people believe that you grow out of your imagination.
Like you leave school and suddenly see the world as adult, in all its realistic glory, so you gently fold away your imagination and put it in the loft with the rest of your old school books. 
But really, how boring would that be?
Now please excuse me, I have to go and brush my unicorns silky purple mane.

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