How I Learned to Cherish My Son’s Wild Imagination


Jackie the Jackalope came to live with us a couple of months ago. My son picked her out of a big bin of similar stuffed animals and immediately identified her as a jackalope.

Jackie has soft, gray fur; a white belly; and velvety, floppy ears. I am not sure where Sam heard of jackalopes, or why he thought Jackie was one–she does not have the small antlers that usually sit on top of the head of these mythical animals. But I guess having a jackalope is a lot more exciting and fun than playing with a plain old bunny.

Sam has a very vivid imagination, a very detailed view of what world he is in at any given moment. Of course we, adults on the outside, can’t always follow along with what is happening when he is playing. Are we pharaohs in ancient Egypt? Are we soldiers from the Union Army, or are we fighters from the Ottoman Empire trying to capture a castle in Hungary? At times–like in the morning when I just want Sam to finish breakfast and put his shoes on so that we can get going–it’s hard to appreciate his imaginary life. While I am talking about how it’s already 8 o’clock and we should really get going, Sam is babbling on and on about grave robbers, and dragons, and witches. When I am trying to get him to tell me about his day, I hear about robots, and magic horses, and spaceships–I am fairly certain those are not standard preschool toys.

Read the full story on Kveller.

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