Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Rich Imagination

We had to be in the Opryland area today, so we stopped in Barnes and Noble for their teacher appreciation day. During this special reception, B&N discounted all educator's purchases, for school or personal use, by 25%. We enjoyed the music and free coffee but still couldn't find anything we needed. My bargain basement Christmas shopping has been completed for weeks now!

My son and I played at the Thomas the Train table with two spectacularly mannered little boys. Their mother sat quietly reading nearby. The older of the brothers picked up a packaged train accessory and pleaded, "Mom, can we afford this?" At which point my ears perk up, as these are children who've been taught something about money.

His mother said in a very low, gentle voice, "No, we are not buying any toys today."
Then my son chips in with a helpful comment, "If you have money, you can buy it."
We both laughed. Commerce is so simple to kids.
Her son put the toy back on the shelf and tried again with a coloring book.
"But Mom, this will be so exciting for me."
To which she replied: "You have your imagination, and that is richer and more exciting than anything you can buy."

I wanted to become this woman's apprentice!

2 comments:

Tracy said...

Meredith,

What a wonderful story of the mom and her children! It is so wonderful to hear mother's teaching their children in the lost of art imagination. I read an article in Southern Living a long time ago about a freelance author who used to play "canning" when she was a child. She would take old mason jars and wash them out and then fill them with grass clippings and water. She would then line them up on the porch railing and admire her "canning" work. Then she would dump them out and start all over again. I made lots of mud pies and stews for my "babies" when I was little, but I never thought of playing "canning."

Nowdays, you really don't see kids using their imagination. They don't have to do anything. The toys do it for them. In fact, they don't actually have to play, but sit on the sidelines and watch now.

Slughorn said...

I have some comments on this:

First, I have seen several kids in a neighborhood get together and spend an afternoon playing with leaves, dirt, and sticks. Granted, these are the same kids who decided to work glitter into their hair one afternoon, but I think that kids DO use their imaginations:

* If they have unstructured time.
* If their 'screen time' is restricted.

So many kids these days don't have these two 'luxuries.'