A charming little girl creature popped up her giggly head from beneath a huge pillow with a hole in the middle, and sparkled up at me. I was sitting above her on a chair.
“Nana, I am a groundhog and I ate your garden.”
“Oh, little groundhog – let me give you some yummy worms to eat instead,” I responded to the almost five year old. I pretended to dangle worms over her mischievous face. “How about vanilla worms with sprinkles?” My little groundhog suggested, thinking that sounded more tasty.
“Oh, I am all out of vanilla worms,” I answered.
“Then I am going to eat your garden all up,” promised the cute one, popping back into her ‘tunnel’.
“Well, just don’t eat any more of my rutabagas up.” I called after her as she crawled away to my make-believe garden.
After a week of playing with and watching after my small grandchildren in Virginia, I am about to go back to Vermont. It was been a wonderful week of plunging into the world of pretend. Oh for the return of the unlimited imagination of little children. I love their funny words, their ability to turn anything into anything else by making believe it is so, their giggles of delight when you join them in their world. All my granddaughter had to do was see a pillow with a hole in the center, and it was an instant ground hog hole.
In the world of little children boxes turn into wagons with a little string and crayon work. Kites can be formed out of wrapping paper and straws, and rutabagas are really hilarious. No boundaries, no perfection, and almost no scenery – just jump off the sofa into a dolphin pool, or have a circus with tiny plastic animals and a plastic lid.
Oh, the wonder of it all. Borrow a child and get down on the ground at their level. Get inside their world to rekindle your writer’s imagination. I, for one, can hardly wait for the grandkids upstairs to wake up so I can get into that new playdough again!