Alexandra the Great's Private Papers

August 11, 2007

The Enjoyment of Childhood

Filed under: Living — Alexandra The Great @ 3:40 am

I took the kids to the pizza place for dinner and gave each of them quarters for the machines.  While I sat in the booth enjoying food I didn’t have to prepare, the wrinkle-free little people, or not so little anymore, wandered around the restaraunt investigating all the machines.  Some contained candy or gum, or perhaps small toys while others promised a prize on the condition that after investing too many quarters, one navigate the metal claw in just the right way so as to grasp an item and drop it in the hole before simply dropping it in vain which is the usual and frustrating outcome of this challenge.  This outing seemed a simple enough treat to me, but to the girls it brought great pleasure with the obtaining of bouncy balls and sticky plastic centepedes as an added bonus.  Later at home they busied themselves with making a tent from bed sheets in which they could enjoy a “high tea” of salted almonds and strawberry lemonade served on miniature dishes.  It was truly a meal fit for a queen, or rather, queens. Oh the joys of childhood.

But what about the rest of us?  What happens to us when we become adults that causes us to leave that wonderful world of imagination and enter the world of “reality” where we stare mindlessly at ball games on TV while eating instead of feasting?  Is it really necessary to leave behind the magic of childhood?  It can’t be necessary and not every adult has committed such folly of forgetfulness.  The evidence of this is that a full grown man wrote The Chronicles of Narnia and his close friend wrote The Lord of the Rings.  Lewis and Tolkein didn’t forget about magic. The questions for the majority of us is, How can we who live in forgetfulness of enchanted worlds recover our lost imagination in order that our own world can again become enchanted?  If we can manage this recovery then our grindstones will be transformed into sword stones and our enslavement to the practical into kingdoms where we are kings and queens.  I am not suggesting that we enter a world of unreality, but that we return the lost color to our lives and stop living and seeing in shades of gray.

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