Right now Fiona is sitting on the potty and her feet are having an argument. They go back and forth, each one bobbing a little as it speaks.
“You play the Sonic game.”
“No, you play.”
“You go in the car.”
“No, you go in car!” Followed by the two feet tussling around each other. I think the debate had devolved into a scuffle.
I live in a world where the most random things have their own voices. Feet, blankets, bottles, food (this one bothers me a little), crayons, and sometimes thin air imaginations. I love it.
I grew up with an incredible sense of imagination. My brother and I didn’t have television, but we lived in a world of princesses and dragons, monsters to be battled, wars to be waged, space to explore, alien planets to visit, and mysteries to be solved. We would be knights, astronauts, detectives, explorers, and adventurers on any given afternoon.
I remember these fantasies being so real that I could see them and hear them. We conjured whole worlds to explore in our minds.
I had worried that with the input of television, my little girl would miss out on these adventures. So far it doesn’t seem to be a problem. Her hands become airplanes in the car. She becomes a puppy when she’s bored. The laundry basket is a boat. The floor is lava.
I’m enjoying relearning how to imagine, relearning how to pretend. I had forgotten. I had forgotten the joy to be had in being able to conquer everything. I had lost sight of the idea that there is a whole universe out there and all we have to do is imagine it.
Imagination is one of the things that I consider integral to making the world a better place. If we cannot imagine what it might be like in an other place, we cannot sympathize with the people who might be there. We cannot fathom how someone might not be just like us and so, without imagination, we condemn others as being wrong.
The ability to imagine the other is what allows us to make the world a better place for all of us. We must be able to imagine the other. We have to use our minds to see the other side of the world and put ourselves into it so that we can care passionately about what happens there.
These early lessons of what different points of view might look and how they might interact is vital. It’s vital to everything. Talking feet are the beginnings, the foundation, for a connected vital world, filled with empathy and adventure. Even arguing feet teach us about understanding and relating, about seeing two different sides of an issue. They teach us about seeing two different sides of a problem.
I only have one wish about talking feet. I wish that grown-up feet could talk.