So – I try to encourage Blake’s creativity every chance I get. I’ve been a dragon. A dinosaur. A racecar. Captain America. And for the most part, I totally “get” my son’s imagination (including the point at which it verges from reality). But the kid threw me a curve ball yesterday when he insisted – INSISTED – that Spider Man was coming to our house for an afternoon party. And “pretending” didn’t appear to be part of the plan.
At first I truly thought we were make-believing … I went into my, “Awesome, let’s get the house ready for Spidey!” discourse. But when Blake put his shoes and coat on, and told me it was time to pick Spider Man up from the airport, I was a little confused at what to do.
At first I decided to pretend we were driving to the airport. But Blake totally called my bluff.
“Mom – we need to get in the car, actually.”
Um – ok. Not willing to actually drive to LAX to appease my son’s imagination, I told him that I arranged for Spider Man to take a taxi to our house, so we didn’t need to pick him up after all. (???) I then pretended Spidey was at the door, and greeted [the invisble] him cheerfully … only to have Blake look at me like I was mentally imbalanced.
“He’s not there, Mom. Actually.” (“Actually” is B’s new fave word, btw.)
Right. So Blake proceeded to go out to the porch to wait for Spider Man to actually arrive.
At this point I was definitely a little concerned. It seems Blake really believed, for whatever reason, that Spider Man was coming to our house for an afternoon party. After about 20 minutes of waiting, Blake was starting to mope. I wasn’t quite sure what to do …
Luckily, I already have Spider Man on speed dial because of our chance meeting at SD Comic Con last summer; I call him when Blake is naughty, which is often.
So I gave Spidey a ring only to find – to my horror – that he had gotten caught up chasing bad guys and wouldn’t be able to make it to the party after all. Dang, dude.
Blake was heartbroken. “Why does he have to fight bad guys? He could fight them here. Because why?”
In the end, he asked if I could write Spider Man a note for him. This is what he wanted it to say:
I’m not sure if I handled this scenario correctly. Though I want B to have a healthy imagination, I definitely want him to know the difference between reality and the “neighborhood of make believe,” where we already spend much of our time.
Any thoughts on the best way to handle an imagination gone wild, or the very real chance of disappointment once a dream fails to become reality?