Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Imagination and Innocence

I recently had the “cuzzy-wuzzies” (that’s cousins for normal people) stay for a long weekend. They usually come and stay for a week every summer. However this past summer we decided to go on vacation together instead. Going through cousin-withdrawal and feeling as if they had missed out on something, they “needed” to come visit at another time. Even the 20, 17, and 15 year olds still look forward to visits without complaint. The younger cousins about wet their pants in anticipation. As soon as dates are set they begin planning everything that they want to do together.

Our house may be full to overflowing when the cuzzy-wuzzies come, but I love every bit of the noise and the chaos. I love seeing their imaginations at work. I love seeing their innocence in a world polluted by so many negative things.

One of the things they always enjoy doing is making movies. This is something they have done on their last several get-togethers. They make up scripts and costumes. If they are anywhere nearby all I can hear is laughter. When they are done they can’t wait to show everyone the film. How many 15 and 17 year olds do you know are willing to get caught doing that, especially with younger children?

After seeing and enjoying all this it makes me wonder something. Why do people want kids to grow up so fast? The stresses of jobs, responsibilities, and paying bills come all too quickly. They will spend the rest of their lives with these. Let them enjoy those simple things in life. Better yet, enjoy those simple things with them. When was the last time you dressed up in a silly costume for the sake of a homemade movie? When was the last time you built a blanket fort without worrying about the appearance of the house or who will clean up the mess later? When was the last time you built a Lincoln Log town that takes up the entire floor space of your living room? When was the last time you allowed your imagination to just run wild?

Maybe it’s about time.