Having an imagination can be beneficial at times but, for me, it can be a disadvantage. As a child my teachers would always comment on me and my imagination and how it made me a fairly good story writer. That was fine back then but how could I use my imagination now?
Now that I work with primary school children, I often wonder why they don’t seem to have the same ability I had when I was their age. Of course, in my day, we didn’t have the games’ consoles that children like to immerse themselves in these days. We had to make our own games to fill our summer holidays so as to keep ‘out of the way’. Games such as ‘Cowboys and Indians, schools,( I liked to be teacher), and an innocent game of Drs and Nurses.’ They don’t seem to want to play such games in the playground; why would they? They have so much to do and so many games to play they don’t need their imaginations. It is, however, noticeable when you give them a piece of paper and ask them to write a story. The majority don’t know where to begin. Maybe it’s just me but I happen to think it’s a good thing to be able to imagine. It was escapism for me as a child and it didn’t hurt me. (Gosh! I sound old).
Anyway, back to my imagination. Sometimes it takes over my mind and gets out of hand. I tend to over dramatise things too. People have said that I can be a bit of a ‘Drama Queen’.
Well I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that but then my thoughts become out of control and I start believing what I have imagined.
Let me tell you of one such incident which was slightly different to the one mentioned in ‘Me and My Imagination’.
Before I get into where my mind went haywire, I will mention the fact that I have always had a fear of dogs since being bitten by a few when I was a child. My fear has become worse as I have got older, to the point where I don’t like to go into a park where they may be walking, just in case. The name for my fear is ‘Cynophobia’ and it isn’t my only one.
There, that said, you may be able to understand my story a bit better.
I decided to take my two young sons, as they were then, into town to see the Christmas lights being turned on. Where I lived, at the time, wasn’t far from the town centre. So, as you can see, so far no problems. It was a dry evening but, as it was winter, was fairly dark. The walk itself would’ve taken approximately 20 minutes considering my children’s pace was slower than mine. (The same thing can’t be said now they’re in their 20s) Anyway, it should’ve taken 20 minutes except there was a ferocious, snarling dog waiting for us at the bottom of the hill, which was a short cut to our town. Now I knew how to avoid the said dog before it saw us and gave chase. We could go back up the hill and take the longer route which would’ve taken us away from it so I tightly clutched their hands and coaxed them back. I have to say they were a bit dumbfounded to say the least but me being the caring, brave mum that I was, (still am) felt that I was saving my children from a possible mauling.
It took a while before my heartbeat returned to its normal rhythm and the shaking soon dispersed but at least my children were safe. For that I felt really proud. Once we got as far away from the ‘Devil’ dog as we could I turned to them and told them how proud I was of them for not panicking when we came face to face with that huge, black, snarling, growling, creature. I had to congratulate their bravery, and my own too. What I didn’t expect was their shocked faces as they turned to each other and back to me. ‘Dog? What dog mum?’
‘The black one that was waiting for us back there,’ I pointed.
This time there was silence and their faces questioned as if they hadn’t see it. ‘Thank goodness for that’ I had thought, ‘I managed to get them out of danger without them realising they were in danger!’
‘Where was the dog, mum?’ asked my eldest son. ‘I didn’t see it.’
‘Nor me,’ echoed my youngest. ‘There was a big black broken umbrella in front of us,’ he continued to which his brother agreed with.
Of course I didn’t want to look stupid in front of my sons but I knew what I saw and the feeling I had felt. I just made it look that they were mistaken and they had to agree with me.
The following day, we had reason to go back that same way and there, at the bottomof the hill, was a discarded, broken. black umbrella. In the daylight it looked nothing like a dog but I could see why I had thought it was. Where the spokes had stuck up, that was its ears, and the rest was its body. The tips of the spokes were his ‘snarling’ teeth.
Now, I had forgotten that story until my boys decided to remind me of it! It still embarrasses me as I think back to that evening but I’m afraid to say that wasn’t the only time I’ve mistaken something inanimate for an animal. I don’t think I’ll ever stop mistaking things I see or hear.
That’s just me! I’ll always have a story to tell.
By the way, if anyone knows what the fear of umbrellas is, please let me know, I would be very grateful.