I just finished heading the household with four children of some friends this week, and they've made quite the lasting impression on me. Beyond (or perhaps, in conjunction with) the sticky fingers, the gooey faces and the short tempers, lies a profusion of perilous crusades, winged sarabands, and posh tea parties (pinkies up, ladies).
And they've reminded me of something I had come close to forgetting: the importance of stories. I may have been too young to comprehend the dignity of Alice, the inquisitiveness of Peter Cottontail, nor the hidden wisdom of Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein; but their stories would follow me wherever I went, adding to my own story in the making.
And even now, sometimes, if I listen very carefully, I can still hear them. When the sound of wind roars against my small car window, or water trickles from the tea kettle in the morning, I remember them. I remember the fables, the adventures, the fairy tales, the fantastical surrounding the myths.
These children reminded me that it had never left me. The difference is, as I grow, I begin to see the layers within stories and begin to peel them away and discover the coexistence of depth and simplicity. You become, in the words of C.S. Lewis, "old enough to read fairy tales again."
I believe that day has come when you get a touch of whimsical. And when you do, I implore you to hold it close and never let go.