They say the art of imagination is dead. I don’t believe that for one second. I see my kids, especially when they are playing, I mean really playing. Imagination is alive and well!

I see young people in my job, kids who might not be thrilled to be sitting in my literature class, but sometimes, something will spark their imagination and you can just see their eyes light up with an idea. Some of my best ideas have come to me while my mind wandered. We need to embrace more of that and let kids dream, both day and night.

Dreams are funny. They say dreams can predict the future or even be an outlet for the things you fear while awake. I say both are true. I dreamt of flying over a school campus with a deceased uncle just weeks before they called me to interview (it is actually his birthday as I write this); I hadn’t even applied for the job. I worked there for a decade and loved it.

Last night I dreamt of driving over the Jamestown Bridge. I can’t stand that bridge, but I need to traverse it to get to my beloved Newport and its Cliff Walk and mansions, some of my favorite dreamy destinations.

Even kids dreams demonstrate this. The Olympics are over, but every person who competed started this journey with a dream. My youngest daughter watched a recent movie, Woody Woodpecker, right after her grandmother, who prides herself on being able to “straighten these kids out in two days,” had been visiting unexpectedly. That night, she dreamt grama was chasing her and a cousin through our woods with a tranquilizer gun. Like I said, dreams are funny.

Today’s society is downright traumatizing, for adults and kids alike. We need to embrace our dreams, and help our kids to do the same. Growing up, my best friend and I wanted to travel the world. She became an Au Pair for a family and was able to travel to Germany, France and all over. I didn’t quite follow my dream of becoming a brain surgeon or traveling the world.

I did accomplish the “mom of six” dream, though. But I’m not done yet, and I hope you’re not either. My oldest daughter, expecting her first in a couple months, reminded me that I have always dreamed of writing a book. I guess that dream just needed prodding because the ideas are starting to gel again.

Anyway, here’s my take: dream. Encourage your kids to dream. Take a chance. You get one time to ride this ride. Why wait? See the world. If you can’t do that exactly, find a way to see more of it than you are today.

Don’t let all your dreams be those that expose your fears. Fly away to the big dream, the one you’ve always just barely dared to dream. Try living it. Let your imagination take you and your kids to crazy places, together!

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