Imagination With a Receipt

I love the imaginations of preschool aged children.
I think that is why I always gravitated towards the young ones back in my teaching days.
But I don’t think I grasped back then just how fulfilling it would be to have my very own creative sidekick who constantly invents pretend scenarios.
He built an elaborate car wash made of blocks completely by himself. He asked me to be the first customer. As I drove my matchbox car into the structure, he about gave me a heart attack when he stopped me and exclaimed, “Wait! Would you like a receipt? Yes or No?” What was I thinking when I rushed in to get my car scrubbed without first taking care of important receipt decision?

Then, he stacked up all of the couch cushions into a fort turned restaurant kitchen. He took my order, swiped my “card,” prepared healthy meals like cookies, french fries, and ice cream, deliberated over the ingredients, and vanished and reappeared as he concentrated on each task.

Troy came home late from a work dinner tonight to the remains of our day of play. He reminded me that Blake isn’t always going to be so eager to include us in his pretend scenarios.

That struck a chord with me because no matter how much I am trying to be right down on his level, I am often multitasking with meals, dishes, cleaning, bills, email, or church assignments, and giving him the “I’ll be there in a minute” line over my shoulder.

When I put away the empty fort after I put Blake in bed, I found myself longing for the little boy that enthusiastically filled the cushions all day. Because Troy was right; he won’t want to include us in every detail of his life forever.

Blake’s deliberation in all of the tiny details of his imagination makes me want to be more deliberate in my mothering. I can’t ignore every distraction, but I don’t want to let disruptions that are postponable get in the way of this favorite age of mine.

I receive a receipt of affection, forgiveness, and trust on a daily basis from Blake, whether I deserve it or not. I may be the teacher, but I have a lot to learn from him. I hope that his imagination continues to inspire the rest of us.


  • Kristen August 17, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Love it. And I love the video Jordan made!!

  • Yukiko August 18, 2011 at 12:30 am

    Amen! Moses (and Blake) is at such a perfect age right now. I really don't want him to grow any older, but he will anyway. I love 3-4 year olds.

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