Grandparents Day is September 10Aug 21, 2023 02:28PM ● By Lynn Gendusa
Imagination will take you everywhere.”
- Albert EinsteinWeston is our 4-year-old grandson who puts Curious George to shame.
I am officially changing his name to “Why Weston.” We can tell him the sun is shining, and he will ask, “Why?” Or we can say, “It’s time for dinner,” and his response is, “Why?” When we ask him a yes or no question, his immediate reaction is “No.” He says it before he thinks and then follows it with, “No, why?”
His imagination is off the rails. He will defend anything with his mighty red plastic sword, and those monsters, bad guys or snakes don’t stand a chance!
Recently, while he was staying the night, my husband told him to turn out the light when he left the restroom.
“Why?” he immediately questioned as his eyes grew wide.
You should have heard us trying to explain electricity to this little guy. After briefly describing Benjamin Franklin, the kite, Thomas Edison and the lightbulb, he responded with a fierce growl, “Well, I can make light with my lightsaber, and I’ll make lightning too!”
At that point, I just gave up and agreed with him. I forgot how 4-year-olds with vivid imaginations constantly chatter and say “no” before thinking.
I vaguely recall the little girl who often heard her mother say, “I just give up!” My husband still swears I respond immediately, “No!” before I say, “Wait, what?” My imagination is still childlike, and I continue searching for answers to many of life’s “whys.”
Weston woke us early the following day. I rose with my hair a jumbled mess, no make-up, mismatched pajamas and furry house slippers adorning my feet. Weston began his morning rambling before I could understand a word.
Then he quieted and slowly spoke as he wrinkled his nose in disgust and exclaimed, “Grandma, why do you look so old?”
I was looking for the lightsaber to shock Mr. Why Weston, but then realized I needed the benefit of cosmetics and combed hair to look less than beyond ancient! Darn, those truthful kids! They can humble you in a nanosecond and topple your imagination with their truth.
Four-year-olds should run for president. They’re truthful, energetic and can solve all the world’s problems with their ninja swords, fire trucks and Spider-Man cape.
Weston’s mother informed me of a statistic declaring that an average 4-year-old asks up to 300 daily questions. My question is, “Who answers them?” Perhaps a better response is, “How do we answer their whys and whats?” Do we encourage their creativity and curiosity?
We decided as a treat to take Weston to Walmart, where he could select a small toy. His excitement only increased his motormouth’s speed as we entered through the doors and passed the greeters.
He walked down several aisles, diligently searching for some mysterious toy. Finally, I stopped him, “Okay, honey, tell me exactly what you are looking for and I will help you.”
“It’s this watch that you wear that shoots out the tape,” he replied.
Gullible me attempts to find it on my phone so I will know what to search for. I must have traveled down those well-stocked rows several times before asking him, “Where did you see this watch?”
“I didn’t see it, but Grandpap told me about it!”
Yep, and right then, I knew another adult 4-year-old with a vivid imagination led us all on a wild goose chase down the aisles at Walmart searching for a fantasy.
I heard that curious, imaginative children are intelligent, but when I recall how I flunked algebra II, I question that. Honestly, as much as I loved my parents, they did not understand or encourage my colorful imagination. It was easy for me to design those watches that shot tape and, later, rooms that transformed houses into homes as a designer.
Sometimes our life purpose differs from others, but we should always be motivated and supported by our peers and families.
When I write, I imagine you are sitting beside me, conversing about the whys in life and pondering the answers. I may look ancient, but I envision myself younger and avoid the mirror as much as possible.
So I understand Weston’s creativity and picture him one day writing a spy novel about a detective wearing a watch that shoots out answers and solves all the world’s riddles. Isn’t it often that idealists, questioners and honest ones will inspire us all to find solutions?
Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison were once 4-year-olds who continually asked, “Why?” They were the dreamers and inventors who changed the world. Could Why Weston change the world? Why not? Who knows what a lightsaber and a cape can do?
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