Oh where, oh where has my imagination gone?

Oh where, oh where could it be?

My daughter wants me to play along.

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Oh where, oh where could it be?

Do you ever feel like your age creeps up on you while your imagination sneaks away? I love to just watch my daughter and wait for what she will amaze me with next - either a new attempt at the spoken word, a funny dance move that looks more like she just did a dookie in her pants, or a show of her vivid imagination.

Many times, my daughter's version of playtime consists of pulling every toy out of the toy box while I scramble behind her in an attempt to keep the the playroom clean. A futile attempt for a home with a toddler, I know, but I try nonetheless. Every few minutes, a toy will catch her attention and her creativity takes flight, but most usually get hurled across the room as if Roy Oswalt threw it. I am not always sure what she is doing when she is shaking her head, or the toy, or both, but I try to engage with similar silly sounds and movements. Perhaps we are feeding the farm animals, or performing in the circus - I am really not sure because my imagination doesn't always open up those doors for me.

While my daughter helps me to feel young, playing with her also reminds me that I'm old. Sure, I can get on my hands and knees and pretend I am a dog or a cat, but the fantasies that come so easily to my daughter prove to require more effort on my part. When I was younger, creativity seemed to be a natural talent of mine. I could dream up crafty creations and vivid playtime schemes to stay entertained for hours. Now, I find myself reading books on fun things to do with baby. I could sit here and ponder what happened, but there is no need - I already know. Adulthood. Responsibility. Growing up caused my flight of fancy to check out.

My daughter is starting to open the door to the dusty, cob-web-filled parts of my mind that have been taken over with reality. When she destroys the Lego horse that I painstakingly created, she is reminding me that there does not always need to be an end product when playing. This is not work - I don't need to turn in my project for grading. We can be silly together and cavort like it's nobody's business. In fact, just now my little runway model styled her hair with about five different hair clips and proudly strutted her style up and down our hallway (or shall I say runway). My initial thought was, "Wow, it looks like you lost a fight with your accessories," but seeing how happy my daughter is, I can see in her mind she won an award for best-dressed debutante. Tomorrow, she will probably be a superhero and I will do my best to live up to the role of her faithful sidekick.

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