Children have an incredible ability. They can see whatever they want to see. Much like politicians. When they look at molehills, they see mountains. They grab a broomstick and it magically transforms into a sword. We’ve all used this power before, even if we can’t remember it, but it’s vital for kids. And it’s desperately misunderstood.
If nothing else, childhood should be about imagination and discovery, but sometimes, well, let’s just say it borders on delusion by adult standards. Kids will grab a handful of leaves pretending it’s wholesome food or dive into your arms to escape the horrible sounds of monsters scratching at the window. It’s a fine line, that dreamy state, between invention and reality but it’s a powerful place to be.
Honestly, I don’t think the delusions, if we are to refer to imagination in a coarse way, are the problem. I don’t think we need to stamp out our kids’ wild declarations about the world being made of gummy bears or the fact that they identify themselves as a kitten every now and again. The true test of whether a delusion is harmful or not, for my money, is whether we realize our ownership of them. Whether we know we’re creating them, willingly.
So what if we could all have the power to look through our kids’ eyes for a moment?
Would we become timid mice on a search for cheese or courageous adventurers jumping a couch chasm diving deep into a pit of lava pillows? Or would we just sit asking ourselves why we were self-deluding? Give it a ‘go’ and imagine for a moment that you are looking through your child’s eyes. Right now. See what they see. As they see it. From their height. Think as they might think. It might be quite an enlightening experience to realize that big people are everywhere telling them what to do or who to be. All the time.
We, as grown-ups, think in our own terms of protection and making sure we snap each other back to “the real world” and I don’t mean the show on MTV. Even now, you’re saying to yourself, ‘SHUT UP CHARLIE. THAT’S SILLY.’ Nothing great was ever achieved without some modicum of silliness or ridiculousness. Otherwise, it would be status quo.
It’s a fun exercise to capture our kids’ point of view, but it carries a great depth. You might just realize kids are adults in tiny bodies without the privileges or responsibilities we have, trying to gain a foothold on this crazy planet with the limited knowledge they have to hand.
I don’t envy them. It’s hard being small. And yet I yearn to see through their eyes so I could use my unrestrained imagination to create a more enjoyable world. Real or imagined.
They’re even more helpful than they sound. Just kidding
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