Playtime with my kids always ends up teaching me more than it teaches them. We were making a craft project, a home, fence and trees using ice cream sticks, and I had stuck three sticks together to make stems for shrubs and trees. I had laid them out to dry, when my younger one said, “Ma, this looks like the footprints of a bird.”
It indeed did look like one!
The elder one then rearranged it and said, “See, now it looks like the legs of an insect or like the pattern on the flag of UK or Australia, New Zealand or US.” Yeah, he was right. It missed a line, but it was similar though.
The younger one was the not someone to give up so easily. He rearranged it yet again. “See, now it looks like a peacock with its feathers open,” he said. “A rising sun,” added the elder one. The game went on and on till they could see it as a dozen more things, including a witch’s broom!
The point here is, I could not comprehend most things until they were pointed out by my little ones. Even as I got the hang of the game, I was still struggling to add to their list. In other words, I could not see things the way they could. The level of my imagination was very low compared to theirs!
To see if it was just my problem or other’s my age would find it tough just like me, I arranged for this game to be played at a gathering of our friends. I tried various abstract drawings and things- a huge red dot in the centre of a cardboard, a fork, a branch of a tree… and as was the pattern in my house, the youngsters named dozens of imaginative things before the elders could name even two or three! Where most adults saw a sun, in the picture of the red dot, the youngsters saw tomatoes, bindi, an UFO, the red sea, a crater, the planet Mars, a red signal and what not!
Why were we not as imaginative? What could be the reason? The reason was – the loss of our childlike innocence.
As kids, we do not really think what others will say. We do not bother if someone will laugh at our ideas. But as we grow up, we become increasingly conscious of people’s opinions. And gradually, we lose our innocence and our imagination. We confine our thoughts to preset ideas, we go by what is already there, and hardly make an attempt to digress.
So, how do we drive our imaginations? I would say, become childlike all over again. Sing, dance, play, laugh out loud (not just LOL-ing on Facebook, but actually laughing from your heart!), maybe climb a tree, swing, play hopscotch, or do whatever makes you happy and don’t bother what others will think about you.( No, really… don’t bother. No one’s even looking at you, they are all busy with their cell phones anyway!)
Be a child again. Get back your innocence. Don’t be afraid of speaking the truth, of speaking your mind. Don’t conform to someone else’s ideas, form your own instead.
Play this game with your kids today. Give them and yourself any abstract drawing. Keep score. And then make a conscious attempt to become childlike again and see the change yourself!
My name is Shubhangi Srikanth and I write under the pen name Titli. I started my blog “The Little Princess” and it helped me channel my thoughts in the proper direction. After having worked for more than 12 years in the Pharmaceutical and Banking sector, I now freelance as a content writer for medical and health websites. I have two adorable boys, who have taught me more about life than I could teach them. Being a mother is one of the most fulfilling roles of my life, one that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world!