I play with my kids. Within reason.
I’ll play a round of Candy Land (yawn) or Memory or Slap Jack. I’ll draw or participate in loosely orchestrated arts & crafts. I’ll shoot hoops or toss a ball or play hide and seek or dance to Michael Jackson songs in the living room.
Just don’t ask me to use my imagination.
My imagination is tired.
My imagination does not want be a vampire or a werewolf or a lion tamer or the older sister you never had. Or the manager of your baseball team, OR ONE OF YOUR ADORING FANS, WAVING HER ARMS AND CHEERING FOR YOU AT THE TEEN CHOICE AWARDS.
My imagination will sample one of your pretend cupcakes or feign disappointment when you give it a speeding ticket, but you’re not going to throw its ass in jail and make it eat jail food or sit on a “jail potty”.
My imagination has dignity.
And frankly, it just wants to sit and read a book.
You see, Son, a book has a beginning and an end—like a puzzle or a game of checkers. Or a glass of bourbon. The Teen-Choice-Awards-in-your-mind doesn’t even have commercial breaks. And that scares me.
My imagination is very afraid of commitment.
Don’t get me wrong. I think imaginative play is the best thing going. It’s what kids are supposed to do. But it’s what kids are supposed to do. My role as a parent is to spin the spinner, say, “Right foot on red”, and make a mental note to “accidentally” give Twister to Goodwill when no one’s looking.
Right? (Check YES or YES.)
What say you?
To role-play or not to role-play?
That is the question.