Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cardboard box? Or Spaceship?

It's come to my attention that I am a 21-year-old individual,
and I have [for the most part] lost the ability to imagine.

I'm the nanny of a little boy, who pulls fantastical worlds from his buns and I find myself [more often than not] at a loss as to how to add to the imagination fun.

E: "Look, Jena!
The dragon is coming after us! Runnnn awaaaaay!"
Me: "... Oh... no..."

I can be a pretty obnoxiously good time with my kids [bring on the jokes, board games, and scream singing] but when it comes to the imagination game, this party bus comes to a screeching halt.

This is Cohen, a four-year-old who lives across the street from the kids I nanny. Here is a picture of the four kids hiding in a box.
Excuse me, spaceship.
They are surrounded by their stuffed animals [fellow Martians] and blankets [protective forcefields]. The camera I whipped out was an oncoming UFO, which they clearly had to run away from. I was fortunate enough to capture this little Martian's face just in time.

This intense space game with the box went on for sometime. [I had been regrettably zapped by a green, poisonous gas thus causing me to go into a vegetative existence losing all my bodily functions. This was necessary to prevent me from stealing the Martians and returning to my home planet. Obviously.]

In my vegetable state, I found myself becoming jealous.
Their game came so second-nature.
They didn't pause to deliberate amongst themselves.
They never questioned the overall premise of their story.
They just knew. Their enthusiasm for imagination got me to thinking.

Writers have to be childlike. We have to throw caution to the wind and imagine
with the same fervor and excitement as these little Martians do.
After all, we are the story tellers. We are the ones creating the worlds, the situations,
and the people that our readers will want to follow. In a sense, we are playing the imagination game for them, inviting readers to come along. I don't know about you, but that's one of the biggest draws to reading for me. The chance to escape. To experience someone else's life, another's adventures.

If we can't imagine, how do we expect to write?
I need to work on my imagination skills. Maybe Evan can teach me his ways.


  1. Another good post, Jena. I'm glad we're fellow bloggy friends. (-:

    Ahh... imagination. We used to always say "Say like" instead of "imagine". It would be "Say like I'm a dog, and say like Bekah found me and is going to rescue me".


  2. aww.
    Thanks :)
    I enjoyed it
    I can't wait to go play with my kids and learn about them :D

  3. Yes times a thousand. When I started working with kids in February I had no clue how to react. What do you say to a Lego who is also a magical frog? I just don't know. And 21 is not even that old! What age do you start to lose it, I wonder?

  4. Great post! I love this and you. Great picture.

  5. I think about this a lot! I'm amazed at the imagination of kids and saddened that it seems to leave us as adults. How do we get it back?

  6. haha!! It's funny we just had a conversation about this. After two summers of nannying I think I played (imagined) enough that we were puppies or sword fighters. Dang, those kids have A LOT of energy!!