Trolley to Neighborhood of Make Believe

I absolutely loved the trolley that took you out of Mr. Rogers apartment to the neighborhood of Make Believe.  I didn’t care that I probably wouldn’t fit inside the trolley, I just wanted to go there!  This and so many other memories of imagination are ones that I continuously try to resurrect.

I tend to gravitate towards the memories of my childhood.  They seem to be simple, entertaining clips that most people can relate to.  The magic of the tooth fairy coming to reward you for your first lost tooth; the excitement of carnivals and parades in the summer; long hours of freeze tag, kick ball, and ghosts in the graveyard; the entire afternoons spent in imaginary magical places that were accessorized with little more than your parents over-sized clothes and a cardboard box.  It was always funny to me how you begged and pleaded for that expensive gift and ended up spending more time in the box it came in.

Now that I’m older, I am sad to say that I rarely take time to use my imagination and play.  All that free time got filled up with school, jobs, bills and a list of things that aren’t nearly as much fun as say, a sand castle or a mudpie.  Even when we are able to have small moments of creativity and play, we are limited with deadlines and time constraints.  Expectations and goals that we don’t even define start to take away that magic.

Last night I went with some friends to the Lincoln Park Zoo to enjoy the last day of zoo lights.  Wandering around like little kids with no direct path or plan, just our cold drippy noses and zoo light goggles reflecting visions of Santa and reindeer.  Ice sculptors were carving dinosaurs and tigers.  We even saw Rod Blagojevich enjoying the fuzzy wittle aminals in the gift shop.  A man who is probably one of the least favored individuals in the city didn’t seem so bad staring at a stuffed polar bear.  I didn’t even want to make fun of his hair, I was having so much fun.

Making breath clouds with each exhalation, we trotted about the grounds until the adults came to tell us it was time to close up.  The majority of the ride home, our zoo lights goggles were worn staring at the lights on the highway.  I almost found myself back on the field trip school bus resting my head on the cool foggy window falling asleep to giggles with my mouth wide open.

I always promised myself that when I grew up I’d be one of those cool adults that still laughed and wasn’t bossy.  Didn’t use a frown or angry angled eyebrows with a wrinkled forehead, and never told anyone to “act their age.”  Now that I’m in the realm of adulthood I can see the difficulty of maintaining this sort of mindset.  Its hard to be fun and creative and still be considered responsible.  If I made fart noises under my armpits and sang silly songs at work, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be elected for promotion.  So I might just have to do those things on my days off and tell people about them on the low.

Just in case my bosses are reading this, I’d like you to know that my days off are very important to me.  And I’ll need them in order to keep my productivity up at work.  So please don’t scold me if I have mudpie, or glitter under my fingernails; or grass stains and skinned knees when I come into work.  And most importantly please save over-sized boxes in the back room…I need to build a kick ass rocket ship.

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Published in: on January 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm  Comments (1)  
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