Each morning, we have this series of dance steps we move through. We eat together, I make their lunches, they engage themselves in some mommy-lovin' activity that tells me I've done a good job - like reading, drawing, writing, or just general creative play. Then when they are finished with all of their morning routines, they usually like to head outside to wait for their carpool ride. This morning was no different. When I opened the door just to do a head count and a general check, they were zipping from one side of the driveway to the next on their scooters. Soon, the youngest came in, sure that she forgot to pack some needed treasure for the school day. I continued to watch the oldest ski from pillar to post with true abandon as he took over the entire driveway. Unaware that I was watching, he all of a sudden, morphed into some type of mythical hero - saving us all from certain demise. One moment, he was just scootering along happily, and then as soon as he had the driveway to himself, he automatically ducked his head, pulled his raincoat hood over it, and squatted down to a perch on his scooter... and then the sound effects began. I would love to give you exact sounds, but because of my chromosomal make-up, I will be unable to produce the sound of a motorcycle, jet, rocket, and machine gun all rolled into a perfect cadence - as my son did. Now I notice he is no longer on the driveway, but he and his super jet-packed scooter mobile are running along side of each other through the yard... and the sound effects continue. The caped crusader is deep into saving the world.
I hear my daughter call my name to help her with a hair catastrophe, so I head up the stairs and leave my post for just a moment. When I returned, I couldn't see the super hero immediately, so I changed my positioning and waited quietly for Act II to begin. I see a few rocks and leaves bounce by the window, so I follow this activity to its origin. Sure enough, the caped hero is now fashioning some sort of weapon and a hide-out. But now the hair drama is over, and my daughter is back on the scene outside. As quickly as it began, the super hero scene from the action comic strip has ended. This is what follows:
"Joe! Where are you?"
"I'm right here. Just looking for bugs."
"Oh... can I help?"
"Sure, go get the bucket."
As she runs back to the garage, I hear humming (from the hideout) that sounds very much like Darth Vader's march to the Death Star. It's still on! I can only imagine, that in his head, he has just decoyed himself as a storm trooper and has sent the innocent Princess Leia away from what will be a certain battle to the death.
How does this work? I haven't decided if living in one's imagination is pure bliss or a curse. I mean, having to save the world from alien attacks and evil empires day in and day out could be pretty stressful. But then again, knowing that the good guy is always going to prevail - that's probably not a bad gig to have either.