After work I meandered down to the pool with a book. It was just me and a mother with her three children. I was pretty engrossed in my book when I overheard the kids. The older brother and his two little sisters had been playing all sorts of games. I was admiring their imagination. Then the mom told big brother to leave the girls alone. I’m not sure how he was bothering them but the girls went on merrily playing “mermaid” (I assume a game they made up). Maybe it was my mother’s heart, but I felt badly for the boy. He was about 10 and there were no others to play with in the pool. (no, I did not jump in to the rescue, but I wanted to). The boy went closer to the girls and said with a question, “you don’t have an ice mermaid.” “Yes we do”, the girls yelled emphatically. “We have every kind of mermaid…any kind we want”. Silence. He was shut down. The boy was offering himself as a mermaid and it still didn’t work. A few minutes passed. I could almost hear the boy’s brain at work as if they were splashes in the pool. He finally declared his other brilliant idea- “I could be a shark that that you have to avoid”. Somehow this passed the test and they once again played, splashed and laughed. Eventually everyone had a mission to find the “purple power”. It sounded so fun. I was kind of thirsty at this point and imagined “purple power” as a delicious raspberry, blueberry drink, icy cold and so refreshing. I wished I could jump in and discover the mystery. About an hour passed. The littlest girl, about 6 years old said. “This is the most funnest day of my life”. I smiled and looked across to the mom, wondering if she really savored those beautiful, dramatic words.
I left before they did, all the while re-living the imaginative world of the young. What remarkable things could happen if we could keep these gifts among those we guard in our “mature” world.