Friday, February 25, 2011

The Wonders of a Wandering Imagination

My daughter is a character.  Actually she is dozens of them.

Her creativity astounds me.  She can create distinct and detailed stories, songs, or games from the whole cloth of her imagination.  I often wonder if she is somehow unable to do anything in a mundane fashion.  She takes everyday occurrences and makes them extraordinary.  She takes a mundane task and turns it into a huge production, simply because big productions are more interesting to her.  Her fantasies are compelling and filled with detail.  Please allow me to give you an example.

The other day she asked me to make her a paper airplane.  Luckily, an airplane is one of three things I know how to make out of a piece of paper.  The other two are a boat and a bow tie, but the latter is made with a dollar bill or similarly shaped piece of paper.  My paper airplane design was perfected when I was her age.  My birds are sturdy and can fly straight, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to pass this knowledge on to the next generation.  Here is the basic design:
A nice looking piece of classroom contraband if I do say so myself.  I handed this off to the Princess, expecting her to toss it around the room for a few minutes until something else caught her fancy.  Little did I realize that even something as simple as a paper airplane needed a story to have a place in her world.  Within a few minutes I noticed some strange markings on the craft floating around our living room.
These are, of course, windows and doors for the convenience and comfort of the passengers of Stationary Airlines.  'What passengers?' you may ask.
These passengers.  Notice how some have chosen to pull the shade down, blacking out their window, and that the corresponding windows on the outside surface of the plane reflect their passenger's choice of shade or not.  

Now, nobody flies without a bag.  And even in this day and age of baggage fees many people still choose to check their luggage.  This is just as true for the two-dimensional airline passenger.
And she completed all of this before she started playing with it like a normal paper airplane.  It was these additions that made it interesting to her; that gave it that believability that made it fun on her level.

She also loves putting on a show whether or not she has an audience.  When we cook dinner together, it is never just a task to complete.  It is always a cooking show where she describes in great detail every step of the process.  She always gives her best performance and tries to teach her viewers how they can create similar meals in their own home.  Occasionally we manage to catch some of her antics on video, like this magic show:
What I find fascinating is the tiny details of her performance.  Where did she hear the phrase "teenie-weenie genie"?  I love how she reassures us that because she is wearing the hat, it must be empty, and the vaudevillian finish with the rabbit bouncing on her head after she has returned it to the hat.  

I don't know exactly what the world looks like to her, but she paints a pretty good picture of it for me.  And I'm happy she gets to experience it.

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