Today I had a magical adventure with my son. Did we go to Disneyland you ask? No, we went to our local park. But our magical day started out kind of ordinary. I’ll explain. Today we went with our homeschool group to pick strawberries. We had a lovely time and after driving an hour back I decided the day was too beautiful to waste inside. It’s supposed to rain this week also. So we stopped at a park. This park has a little waterfall (which is actually runoff but no one seems to know cause kids play in it) which turns into a stream and ends in a lake. There are alot of large rocks and hills etc…also rock shelters with fire pits. It’s just a very magical place.
Now my son being a typical almost 5 year old was most excited about the playground. I wanted him to enjoy the beauty of creation though. So I told him we would take pictures of all our discoveries since Michael loves photography. You can tell from the pictures that he’s quite talented for a youngster. At first Michael groaned about “exploring”. He wanted to play on the playground or go home and play video games. So I let him play on the playground for a bit. But I’ve really wanted to break him out of his video game mindset. Michael has a great imagination but it mainly consists of pretend shooting everything that moves.
So I picked up a stick and told him how I used to use my imagination as a kid. Briefly, I’ll tell you that my childhood was similar to the movie “The Bridge to Terabithia”. The boy basically next door was my best friend (Phillip) and we loved exploring the woods (or under the house). For several years, I came home each day and we pretended to be all sorts of things….elves & leprechauns, secret agents, super heroes, warriors etc etc…. We also had video games but they didn’t always have save points. So I’d finally get to level 20 on Sonic the Hedgehog and I’d die…..which mean’t I’d have to go back to the beginning. So the heck with the video games it was more fun to play outside!
(Pic removed in case of copyright issues)
Well, I didn’t get into details about my childhood but I did explain how a stick could be a sword and the playground our castle. Michael knows how to do this but he just hasn’t done it in awhile. And I told him how he could be the prince. At first Michael got an attitude.
“Mommy, that’s a stick not a sword! And this is just a playground and I’m just an old boy!” (yes he actually said he was just an old boy! ROFL!)
So we had a chat about his attitude and about the dangers of playing video games too much (which I all too well know but hey I have become a much better example). Then Michael decided to play along and to throw his bad attitude to the curb. The MAGIC began!
There were several tree stumps that looked like tables. After finding Michael a sword and picking some magical flowers for protection we went to the stumps to look at our map.
I proceeded to show him where we were at and where the magical lands of the fairies, unicorns, and giants were. We decided to visit the unicorns and giants. We were going to do battle with the evil giants. Along the way we threw “bombs” (Pinecones) at any goblins that attacked.
The rock shelters and fire pits became castles and resting spots to make camp for the “night”. We found the unicorn castle and borrowed a few unicorns so we wouldn’t have to walk. Michael chose a blue one and I chose a rainbow unicorn. ;P It took us a couple of hours to do this so we really walked a long way. We found a few tables that looked like all the fairy tale creatures had a feast at. They kind of reminded us of Aslan’s table (the Chronicles of Narnia).
We fought wolves and goblins on the way with our magical swords (sticks). We finally made it to the land of the giants. We followed the “river” (stream) and it pooled up into the “ocean” (a pond). There was a big open area by it and that’s where we fought the giants. It turns out the giants were capturing mermaids. So we let the mermaids back into the sea. We got tired and decided to give our unicorns the magic flowers so they could return to their kingdom without our help. Then we took a short cut back to our carriage (car) through the land of the peaceful dwarves (near all the huge rocks). We also had cheese and bread along the way (goldfish crackers) and some magical water (Sprite and Coke). So I told lil man the king wanted our magical strawberries so we had to return to our original country.
It’s just so funny that in the beginning Michael claimed he was just a regular boy but that changed. I was calling him Prince Michael and he called me princess. Once I slipped up and called him just “Michael”…to which he retorted “You mean Prince!” ROFL 🙂 He got so much into using his imagination that he was still calling the goldfish “cheese and bread” when we got home.
This is a long and unusual blog I know but it really does have to do with writing. Imagination is key when writing fantasy. As an adult sometimes I forget to imagine and sometimes I have a hard time playing games with my son. I don’t always get into his world. But today I helped guide his imagination to new heights. My homebody son actually had a blast exploring God’s creation and walking for long periods of time. He didn’t whine about being tired or hungry because he was too busy pretending to be a prince on a quest. Today I stepped out of my mommy role for a moment and became a child again. And we didn’t even go to Disneyland! LOL 🙂
Now that I’ve exercised my imaginative powers I think I’ll have an easier time writing my book. So I challenge you to take some time this week to use your own imagination..no matter how old you are. If you have children/grandchildren spend some time playing make believe with them. Put yourself in their shoes…take a trip to fairy land or maybe pretend you’re on the moon. Another idea is to just put on a nice peice of music and close your eyes. Let the music paint pictures of places in your mind. Everytime I hear Andrea Boccelli I think of Tuscany :). Use your imaginative experience to create something somehow…whether it be a poem, a picture, or maybe even a piece of music. God gave us our imaginations for a reason and we are mean’t to use it for the good. Have fun!