My daughter and I were browsing the exotic produce at the supermarket. A red, scaly fruit catches her eye and she walks over to it.
“What is this?”
Stepping closer, I read the label that says “Dragon fruit” outloud.
She was only milimeters away from touching the fruit, but now she has jerked her hand back and jumped back a couple feet immediately after I have read the label.
She looks quite worried as she asks, “Does that mean it will bite me?”
I couldn’t contain my instant smile and laugh, but I reached out and picked up the fruit.
“No, it won’t bite,” I said. “That’s just it’s name because it looks like it has dragon scales on the outside.”
She smiled and all worry was gone, replaced instead by embarrassment.
I reflect on this moment now as I help my beautiful daughter get ready for her kindergarten graduation. Everything seems so exciting, new, and alive to her at this age. She thinks her toy dinosaurs come to life while she sleeps. She thinks her stuffed animals all have their own personalities and likes and dislikes. She asks them which one would like to go to show and tell this week, and she always makes them take turns. She takes her mermaid doll on bike rides with her so the doll knows what it’s like to have legs instead of fins.
I’m quite sure I had an imagination, like her’s, at some point in my life. As we grow up and gain experience and responsibilities, the world gets a little smaller and a little less magical with each milestone we reach. Things that were once so complicated that an explanation didn’t seem possible are now explained away without a thought.
All I want at this moment in time is exactly what I have. I want to push the pause button on that moment with the dragon fruit, to keep my baby in that moment of innocent imagination, for many more years.
Instead, here I am, watching her get ready to go graduate from kindergarten with all her friends. I will keep my fingers crossed for a few more years of innocent, imaginative magic.