I have been watching Little Pink this week and found myself mesmerised by her wonderful imagination. She has carried me to the car, strapped me into my seat, given me a drink and driven me to Germany, complete with car noises and gear changes! She has been shopping several times, driving to the supermarket in her car (her ride on toy), put her groceries in the boot and driven back home again, taking care to stop at all the red lights. She has cooked, cleaned, done some gardening, bathed her dolls and teddies, put them to bed, read them a story, cuddled them when they hurt themselves and even put plasters on the ones with more serious injuries. My favourite game was Mummy's bedtime, which meant I got put to bed on the sofa, covered with blankets and left to go to sleep for ten minutes!
Her bathtime games are just as imaginative. Empty shampoo bottles become boats, submarines, kettles, waterfalls. She swims in the "blue lake", just like the one she swam in on holiday, except this one has bubbles in it and is warmer! In the garden, her trampoline has become an ice-cream parlour and she serves up delicious sundaes from there! During one of our trips to town Tigger walked on the pavement with us and then had to hold our hands to cross the road so that he would be safe.
I am always sad when Little Pink wants to play but I can't because I have to cook tea, empty the dishwasher, hoover or do another of those chores that get in the way. I wish I was more able to look at the world through her eyes, with innocence and wonder and delight. I am left wondering just what is it that happens to our imagination as we grow older? Why do so many of us lose the ability to see beyond the daily grind? I know that it would be impossible to live in a make-believe world all of the time, and that we have to work and earn money to pay the bills, but why does our imagination seem to go to waste? How can we reclaim the child within us whilst balancing it with the demands that our grown-up lives place upon us?