Green cowboy hat tipped to the right, fireman boots worn over skin-tight pajama bottoms, pink fairy wings affixed to his skull covered pajama shirt—my son was the picture of childhood imagination. My daughter wore her silken guitar pants, pink leotard with tutu attached and baby inside, birthday crown and scepter. Their Thomas the Tank Engine toddler bed has been transformed into a floating vessel to transport them through the streets of their world, waving at their subjects as they worked their way towards their palace.
I spent hours clearing out old and broken toys and rearranging their play space to allow more room for their imaginations to grow. They very easily gave away good toys in December to children who needed them more than they did, it was getting rid of the broken toys that they feared. They didn’t want to hurt the souls of the toys that would end up in landfills. I promised to recycle all that I could, and with that I turned the basement upside down over the snow days and created a new haven for them to explore.
As I pretended not to watch their imaginations soar yesterday, sneaking glances as I finished cleaning and sorting their things, I watched their personhood glow through costume changes, character voices and redefining the rules of the game for fairness’ sake. We have given all that we have to make sure they know how to be good and thoughtful stewards of the goodness, intelligence and creativity that grows inside of them. As Ninja perfected his cowboy fairy swagger while Twinkle explained how she would love her unborn child with every part of her soul when she wasn’t working to make her kingdom happy I saw that the early formation of good choices is there, bubbling to the surface even when we aren’t watching for it.