(Heroine, that's the word, but I am plunged into a plethora of really weak paperback novels stored in my head, in which one of the characters struggles with a terrible drug addiction until finally deciding to follow Jesus, inside a chapel with stained glass windows and a wise black man. In the rain. More than one book.)
All that to say, I was imaginative, and often wondered if the rest of the world was real, or if it was only me. If I let myself think about that now, I still get kinda weirded out.
My older sister Georgia would make up these fantastic stories called Lupé and Lori, about two little girls having these crazy adventures, based on me and my niece. We'd go to New York, or space, or eat a mountain of ice cream, whatever. It was magical.
My kids have surprised me by being extremely practical. "You can't eat people," they would say, scornfully, when I would suggest "Toby Soup" for dinner. "Kids can't drive," they'd tell me when I suggested they run to the store for some milk. It's partially my fault, because we talk practically about magic and monsters and Santa Claus, and so I guess they are just kinda like Miracle on 34th Street, except, you know, not jaded or anything. Brynn makes up stories and songs all the time, but they're always based on a true story, usually about a baby animal who lost its mama. (Adoption angst? Disney?)
But last week I just started telling a story, about us and jet rockets on our van, and driving up into the sky, and when I looked back in the rearview mirror, they were sitting there shocked. They tested the waters a little, seeing if we could have a pet in a story, if they could fly, stuff like that. And then they were off. I missed my exit twice, helping them unfold the story.
It was a moment, where something new opened up to them, something that matters. Because imagination, man, that's something to have. I'm a storyteller and their dad is a dreamer; it's a legacy of living beyond our limits, pushing to a different ending, a new beginning. They're learning there's always a way out, and most of the time you can fix your mistakes, in the story. It's exciting, to say, think beyond gravity, or time, or you know, financial constraints. Then what?
What would you do, if you weren't afraid?