I write this as I consciously fend off a feeling of intense exhaustion. My first child was waiting at my place of employment at six thirty A. M. I was tired and did not wish to work. As I walked towards the building with a solemn expression upon my face, I saw my young charge smile and wave from the back seat of his mother’s mini van. That smile melted my solemn demeanor. Several minutes after entering the building I heard a small voice from behind me yelling “Hey You’. It was the little boy from the van. He expressed such exuberance at such an early hour of the morning. How could my spirit not be lifted? This child looked forward to coming to my program. I had to ensure that he and all the other children had an enjoyable experience.
If getting up in the wee hours of the morning bothered me, one could only imagine how difficult it was for a little boy to do so. As other children drifted in we started a game. The children set their imaginations to flight. One girl called herself Lava Girl. I was informed that anyone she touched could be burned. She slept on a special imaginary bed. I was informed that a standard bed would melt from her magic body heat. Her brother was shark boy. He was half shark half boy. He could swim like a shark. Because of his genetic mutation long term survival on land was feasible. Apparently the fact that the little boy is half human makes this achievement reality. The other little boy is called dream boy. His super power is being capable of making his dreams reality. If a child can move one ton boulders in his dreams, than it can be achieved in the real world.
I played along with this imaginary drama. The goal of this game is obvious. These children are aware of their lack of control in daily life. They are told what to do by teachers, parents, older siblings and more. They are aware of differences between them and adults. Adults drive cars, go to bed when the urge strikes, are taller, stronger, and make all the decisions for children. When entering a fantasy world, children can have power and control like the adults they observe everyday. True their powers exaggerate real life, but it makes a child feel like they are in control for a fleeting moment.
I observed the children’s imaginary drama for a while. Some assumptions were made. Dream boy could do anything while dreaming. The translation of his story was that in his dreams there were no limitations. Any goal became reality. Deficiencies did not exist. Lava girls’ super power gave her the power to conquer anything and anyone she wished. By touching them with her hot hand, people would cringe and be her loyal subject. Shark boy swam unlimited distances. In his imagination, nothing was impossible. He emphasized the fact that he was a little boy as well and could live on land. He is obviously combining the wish to venture forward, but still have the security of comfortable surroundings.
The children informed me that they needed naps. (Imaginary) I produced three red carpet squares for lava girl. I informed her that the red color could be the lava. Shark boy was given three blue carpet squares. These would be the ocean. Dream boy was issued multi color carpet squares to simulate a rainbow. He was informed that rainbows are for chasing dreams. My offer was accepted. The children lined up their rows of carpets and settled in for an imaginary nap. Their powers supposedly increased during power naps. I sat and observed the children feign snoring noises. A question I ponder is that it would be grand if adults could retain the imagination of childhood.
Observing someone compensating their weakness by feigning super powers, is definitely more enjoyable than observing a drug addict who is compensating for pain as well. In reality, adulthood brings the disposal of super man, and bat woman garb. An adult would soon get fired for acting in such a manner. But it sure is fun to think about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!