When Eric and I first discussed having children one of the most exciting prospects for us was getting to play and use our imagination with our children. We missed that imaginative freedom that comes with childhood play and we were excited to experience it again through our children.
Fast forward a few years and it has become a regular part of life in our home. Now, it is woven into pretty much every moment of every day from sailing in a pirate ship (couch) to exploring tiny houses (the car seat and bouncer) where little people live. Eric and I try to facilitate the process by planting seeds to help her generate a more elaborate world of play. Generally we do this by asking questions about this imaginary world. I love watching as each bit develops and her imagination brings something into greater clarity. Truly it is amazing to watch from an adult perspective and to be pulled in.
Last night Eric and Cordelia were up playing in her room while I was downstairs calming a cranky baby through the witching hour. Once Elise was no longer wailing we decided to go up and watch the play, partaking when we could. Little did I know that I was crash landing on Planet Sorry (as named by Cordelia).
She and her father were traveling through space in her spaceship (made from 2 laundry baskets) while she counted down to take off on her toy microphone. She encountered aliens and swam in the pleasant yellow waters on the purple planet of Sorry. The pair had made quite the elaborate imaginative game and Elise and I were able to hop in on a bit of the adventure.
Later, when some space refreshments were in order we made up some moon juice. There were aliens, little sister became an alien, and lots of space travel. When it was finally time for bed there were a few tears as our little lady really missed Planet Sorry and all of her friends. We assured her that we would one day return.
While she almost certainly won't remember this moment I hope that Cordelia does remember that she had parents who actively encouraged and participated in her imaginings.