Two of my grandchildren, Wadiah and his sister, Nardeen, are rapt in concentration as they go about determining which leaf to set their blue plastic frog, Jumpy. Although they both are aware that Jumpy is not a live frog, their child play had my full attention and had me wondering about what exact age, do we, as children, lose the magic of make believe? It is such a gift and we tend to take it for granted. When does that naive, childlike quality that allows us to believe anything is possible and nothing is impossible, disappear?
Last night I went to see the movie, Hangover. There is a character in the movie, Alan, who is the brother of the bride and who is invited to go with his sisters' fiance and his buddies to Vegas for the bachelors' party. Alan is described by the other characters as being like a child, although he is savvy enough to learn how to count cards out of a textbook and win $80,000 at the blackjack tables. But the writers have captured his innocence in lines like these spoken with a deadpan expression:
Alan: I’m sure you get this a lot, but is this really Caesar’s Palace?
Hotel Clerk: What do you mean?
Alan: Did Caesar really live here?
Hotel Clerk: No
Alan: Didn’t think so
Another character, Stu, ends up getting married himself to a stripper the night they are in Vegas for his buddies' bachelor party. The next morning he learns that the ring he intended to give his fiance, one his grandmother had kept from the holocaust, is now on the finger of his new bride, the stripper.....
Stu to his buddies: "She is wearing my grandmother's Holocaust ring."
Alan: "I didn't know they gave out rings at the Holocaust."
I know, silly humor, but I love it, the pure innocence of it! I find pleasure in listening to the children talk and connecting the dots to learn where their information comes from and how they apply it.
Bill Cosby and Art Linkletter both did a show called, "Kids Say the Darnedest Things," highlighting the double entendres and naive remarks of children. There were a lot of embarrassed parents during the showing of these interviews, but far more laughs and nods of parents who quietly said a prayer, "By the grace of God go I."
My grandchildren are very creative, as most children are, in their play. Their Mimi loves to play along and wander down the mysterious trail of their imagination wondering where it will lead....and knowing that their childhood, sadly, is limited.