This I Believe

Bethany - Wooster, Ohio
Entered on October 1, 2006

I Believe in the Power of Imagination

I believe in the power of tea parties, superhero capes, and waltzes with Prince Charming. It’s impossible for a child to grow up without experiencing being a rock star, fireman, or superhero. Children sail through elementary school on both their skills and their imaginations. Each nap time becomes an adventure: a child curled on her shaggy carpet mat is sent flying through star-specked skies with Aladdin. Each snack time her gold fish would swim through dangerous waters only to be eaten by the child’s shark jaws. Imagination inspires kids to succeed; it gives a child a way to survive a devastating booboo with the healing power of mother’s kiss, or the death of her small kitty, Fluffy, who is now chasing little mousies in kitty cat heaven. Little girls’ should play dress up in old polka-dot dresses and clunk around in oversized high heels. I trust in a child’s ability to not leave teddy out of a tea party, even though he arrived late. In this world of imagination, a child can be Cinderella and dance with Prince Charming for hours. It’s even better when reality adds its own bit, and the little girl’s lips are smudged with red lipstick. After all, every girl must primp for Prince Charming.

Boys’ were made to trudge through mud and rain on their way to a raging backyard battle. Their imaginations indulge contradiction, when those little boys, using the same mud to bake mud pies hours later, tell mommy that they have supper’s dessert covered. I’m sure that putting on Superman’s cape really does make a boy become a superhero; he can fly from the living room chair to the couch, save his mother with a hug, and escape any perilous situation—including bath time.

The Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny exist. Who else receives children’s carefully crayoned letters or inspires perfect behavior? Every holiday benefits from children’s imaginations. Children decorate themselves in reindeer costumes with bright red noses for Christmas, and wear fuzzy white bunny costumes for Easter. The excitement of making one’s very own first Easter egg and giving Daddy his handmade Christmas present introduces these children to the joys of generosity. I trust in the Tooth Fairy’s ability to make the pain of losing teeth worthwhile: her flittering wings and magic wand, after all, leave presents under a child’s cartoon pillow.

I believe that young children’s imaginations are fundamental in growing. Muddy clothes, polka-dot dresses, and superhero moments teach children to become responsible, creative, and intelligent adults. Imagination never fails to save a child from a cut on the knee or the loss of a beloved pet. A child’s imagination works miracles, which is why our adult world, filled with bills and worries, can learn multiple lessons from the power of a cape, a mud pie, or a waltz with Prince Charming.