“Don’t ever lose your sense of imagination.”
I stopped pulling wallpaper in the other room and listened carefully to my 8yr old son speak to his 3yr old sister.
“I’m serious Pearl, don’t ever lose it because it is super important,” he continued.
At that moment, I felt hopeful, like my kid gets it. And he’s 8.
Often we do lose our sense of wonder and creativity because we grow up and even though we want to stay forever young in Neverland, we are faced with challenges beyond our reach. Challenges that stop us in our tracks when we least expect them. Issues beyond our control that our parents cannot shield us from or help us with anymore.
Leo has probably started figuring that out a little, and he was giving his sister a warning that it is tough…growing up is hard. He continues to laugh and play and run and be a nuisance to his older sister, but he also ask deep questions about death, and other kids’ lives, and watched a classmate lose his mom this spring. The adult stuff is coming, and I hope we protect him from it as long as possible.
But with technology in his hands, it is tough. He has an email address, and he is a gamer who plays games against his buddy in Ontario. We can only hope to allow him to continue to use his imagination when the world around him begs to bring reality closer and closer to the privacy of our homes.
My parents have told me time and time again, Insulate don’t isolate. When you isolate you cause bigger mischief, but if you keep your kids as safe as you can, and as knowledgeable as you can, they will have the power to choose to do what is right when faced with a world that feels like it is crumbling beneath them.
Leo’s world crumbled a little bit last week. Now it wasn’t terrible news by any means-he didn’t lose his papa or break a bone or get a video game taken away. In fact, he gained a sibling. A sibling who will be a better person because he is such a fantastic big brother. A sibling who is our rainbow child even though the kids have no clue what we went through this fall. A sibling who will complete the Michigan Mattern family. A sibling who is…
As many of you know and probably guessed, Leo was dying for a brother, but he took his gender reveal cupcake and bit into it and still put on a brave smile. And days later he was giving his youngest sister wise words that she will be sure to follow because they came from her best friend, her big brother. I hope he heeds his own advice and that you do too. Happy Independence Day from our family to yours!