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The simple joys of a child's imagination

March 9, 2012 - Betsy Bethel
Sometimes you just have to laugh.

We were at Target yesterday and Emma was literally bouncing from one side of the aisle to the other, jumping on and off the moving cart (I put a stop to that REAL quick), and chattering like a little woodpecker.

Her state most likely was caused by staying home with Grandma all day (it's her spring break) and being allowed to eat as many Kit-Kats as her little heart desires.

As we wound our way around the store and headed back toward the front, she commented on everything she saw on the shelves — OOoooh, I like this blue bowl, Mom, and look at these candle holders and oh! I love goldfish crackers. I HAVE to have goldfish crackers. Can I, Mom, can I please have goldfish crackers? Look! They have ice cream here!

And it went on and on.

I had been at work all day and was slightly stressed out planning for a friend's birthday, an upcoming visit from my mom and aunt and Emma's birthday weekend consisting of a trip to a water park, a family party and a friend party. My head hurt, my stomach hurt, and I was exhausted.

So while she was practically ready to spontaneously combust, I meanwhile am doing that busy mom song-and-dance routine where you are nodding and smiling and even exclaiming once in awhile "Oh, yes, uh-huh. ... Wow. ... No, you can't have that." But all the while your brain is focused on only two things: Finding the item you need and getting the heck out of there before your child breaks the ugliest lamp in the store that you'll have to buy or drops a jar of spaghetti sauce that shatters and splatters everywhere.

With 99 percent of my brain power sunk into searching for the cat food aisle, I absentmindedly said in response to one of Emma's store discoveries, "Yes, isn't it amazing everything they have here. They have everything you could ever wish for."

Emma's response wiped away every little stressor of my day and made me stop right there in the middle of the aisle to write it down (before my brain stored it in that locked and hidden chamber with all the other tidbits I neglected to write down).

She said without missing a beat: "No, it doesn't, Mom, cuz I'm thinking of sliding down a giant rainbow slide into a giant pool of wishes and there's a rainbow ladder from the ceiling that I can climb back up. That's what I dream of, Mom, so really, no, this store doesn't have everything."

Oh, to be a kid again.


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