Apparently the Gigglemonster inherited more from me than his brown eyes and his extreme sensitivity to tickling. He is clearly also a born story-teller. He loves to hear stories; he loves to act them out; and most of all he likes to create them out of the quirky delightfulness of his own imagination.
This penchant is most frequently displayed when the current reality does not line up with his preferences. It’s not that he is a LIAR exactly, but more than he has a complicated relationship with the truth – it is just so confining and uninspiring. Much more fun to explore the realm of possibility, where history can contain any experience his little four-year-old mind can dream up, and where his sister’s ever practical correction can’t intrude with withering assertions “that never happened!”
I can’t wait to start reading the stories he will write in a few more years…
Oh, To Be a Ghost Grown-up
“When I was a ghost grown-up…”
that’s my son’s standard introduction
to imaginative tales of things
he’s never done.
Professions he has never worked (a knight, a dentist, a mythbuster),
places he has never been (the moon, a pirate ship, Erendell),
lives he has never lived (dangerous, exciting, magical),
all breathed to life with the strong force of his boundless storytelling.
It is a carefully selected self that bars all contradiction.
A ghost cannot be seen,
so who can witness to its absence?
A grown up – in his 4-year-old belief – suffers no limits,
there is no one to say “No” where grown-ups have a will to do.
And so, these stories too can grow without constraint,
an outlet for a mind that yearns to live each moment to the very tip of thought.
I’ve heard of epic battles he has fought and won,
of ten motherless children he has raised with love and care.
(each has a name, if an unusual one).
I’ve marveled at the complicated web of tangled powers and desires that his mind evokes.
I’ve ached to see frustration in each tale of loss, of failure, or of woe.
I’ve learned to listen for the dream, the cherished hope
that needs this outlet for release.
To ponder how to keep him safe
while also giving room for dreams to grow into reality.
And… I have wondered.
Just what would it be like to be, myself, a “ghost grown up”?
No limits to contain my mind or will,
no drudgery of trapping practicality,
no fetters of responsibility to hold me to the one life I have chosen.
But… no reality either,
to make my life the fragile, precious, messy, beautiful mix of love and boundaries,
that grows each day,
even within constraints;
and with no dreamer boy to hold – fixed to the ground – while I listen to his wondrous tales