Forgive me for I have sinned.
I have forgotten the pleasure of simple things.
I have let my imagination dull as my youth has faded.
I have forsaken Peter Pan and taken berth with Captain Hook on the Jolly Roger.
I have grown up…
Luckily, I have a little Lost Boy and a slightly bigger Lost Girl to remind me of the wonders of being young and to show me how to play again.
The sitting room is covered in toys today, same as every day; plastic food, octonauts, doctor’s kit, cars, and numerous other carefully, skillfully designed and manufactured playthings. These toys are played with day in, day out and loved, sometimes to bits. The kids never tire of playing with them, making up games around them, but I do.
There are only so many times an adult wants to play doctors before they’re sick of being sick. Only so many games of rescue the sea creatures before you want to drown yourself. Only so many times you can eat a pretend ham sandwich before you do a Mama Cass. But the kids could play these same games every day, sometimes more than once a day, without getting bored.
My mind is numb toward these games now. I know that when a piece of plastic toast is presented to me I need to make a fuss about the lack of cheese until I’m presented with a toy magnifying glass and I can finally see it. I know that when the medical case is handed to me I’m going to see patients with whichever symptoms have been shown on Get Well Soon that week.
If I had any hair to tear out I’d be flexing my fingers right now.
A saving grace appeared this morning in the form of a Slinky. A toy with no real purpose, no preset way of playing with it, no expectation. The kids were using it as an elephant trunk, a dog lead, a chasing toy, a Tigger tail, a tunnel… This simple twisted length of multicoloured plastic entertained my children for almost an hour and caused giggles by the bucketload! I remembered it simply as ‘the toy that falls down stairs’…
So there it is. The proof that I have lost my imagination, lost my way, lost my childhood. I’ve grown up and I may never find my way back to Neverland.