The imagination and the realm of impossibility becoming the possible are where I try to spend much of my time. Doing so has clearly become more challenging since the birth of my darling daughter, Phoebe. Five months into fatherhood has me sleeping less (if that was possible), reading less literature, and simply always having someone to take care of when I do not have to do something else. Do not get me wrong; the challenges are all a part of the joys of parenting and I do my very best to remain calm and contented as she weeps for an hour before bedtime. I know that one day I will look back to those moments with nostalgia, and when I do look back then I want to remember being the positive, steady father who embraced his little burdens with enthusiasm. All things fade and soften with time.
One thing that is seldom mentioned by parents, however, is that they are also given an opportunity to re-enter the world of the imagination through their child, as this is where little children reside for their lives until the educational system suffocates this arena in the name of rigid productivity. I relish the moments when I get to play with my daughter. Even as an infant, she sees the world through open eyes and a beginner’s mind. When I spend time taking care of her I also take care to dream and experience life as I imagine she does. Perhaps my wife thinks I am just spacing out, but I would prefer to think of it as escaping from the hum-drum of paying bills, working for the man and being responsible.
How often do we, as adults ever take the time to just sit and connect with those areas of our lives long forgotten, wherein we wanted to fight killer robots and stone dragons to save the beautiful samurai princess? Instead, men are supposed to dream of making a lot of money to impress a beautiful woman and drive a Ferrari. Society asserts that women are supposed to dream of shoe shopping, sipping white wine in bistro windows and walk-in closets. Both of those options seem rather boring and unfulfilling, whereas when I see my daughter reach for a spoon full of mango or avocado I somehow believe she imagines she is a fairytale monster eating orange and green planets.
I aspire to be the fascinating character in an adventure novel; to live a life full of intrigue, imaginary monsters and ghostly landscapes fading into jungles or Emerald Cities. I dare to dream for its own sake and not be disappointed if when I awake from my dream that all is not as it once was. I am not disappointed, because more often than not I have been able to make those fantastical visions come truer than if I had simply aspired to be normal. The next time you walk by a statue of St. George slaying the dragon or step into a dark corridor allow yourself the chance to pretend, allow yourself the moment to visualize that which is not yet possible, because as we pass from this plane to the next all of that preparation for dragons, robot and princesses may be exactly where you needed to spend a few hours in the time that remains.