“And here I wish I could tell you half the things Alice used to say, beginning with her favorite phrase ‘Let’s pretend.‘”
Entire days, maybe even weeks, of my childhood were wrapped up in games of pretend. Sometimes the games involved toys – Breyer horses and dollhouses and stuffed animals – and sometimes they didn’t. There were Olympic events featuring the water skippers and beetles in the pond, and entire dwellings made for a family of tiny people who lived in the bookcase.
via *The Graphics Fairy*
Sometimes the material world and my imaginary one intersected. My family of tiny people needed to eat, after all, and what better food for them than bits of rice and oats and unpopped popcorn? Tiny hunks of cheddar cheese and scraps of bread found their way to my miniature family’s home. My mother insists my imaginary play is the reason our house was infested with mice. Happy, well-fed mice.
I listened to my kids – now in their teens – talking about the imaginary games they played together. As the “adult,” I was not privy to those games because “grown-ups don’t play pretend.”
Oh, we can borrow other people’s imaginations and pretend vicariously through books and movies or virtual reality, but when it comes to that place where imagination and reality meet, most of us feel forced to “grow out of it.” Folks who continue to “pretend” into adulthood tend to be labeled “weird,” or “crazy,” or “strange.” Unless, of course, they can make money with their pretending, and then we applaud their activities and give them cute gold statues.
I believe we all need to do some pretending, every day. The realm of imagination is a place of hope and possibility. As children it’s where we learn about relationships, and communication, and problem-solving. When we succeed in our imaginary games, we take that confidence into our daily life.
If I said to you, “let’s pretend.” What imaginary game would you choose to play? Why?
If it’s been forever and a day (or never) since you read Alice in Wonderland, hurry over to Blackstone Audio before March 16th for a FREE MP3 audio download of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, read by English actor Michael York.
Thanks to Pie Bird for the heads-up on this freebie!
Knitting Journey offers some knitting and sewing ideas correlated to Alice.
Alisa Burke has instructions for the Mad Hatter paper bag hats seen above.
A Fanciful Twist has lovely pictures and ideas for creating your own Mad Tea Party.
One Pretty Thing has a whole page of links for Alice in Wonderland inspired ideas.
Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas offers more party ideas and pictures, as seen above.