"Are you thinking about what I'm thinking about?" my little one asks me, her voice sincere and hopeful.
"I don't know, Miss M" I respond. "What are you thinking about?"
Without a moment's hesitation her answer comes. "Princesses and Unicorns!" she responds, dreamily.
I'm caught a little off-guard. Let's be honest, the real world of laundry and homework and dishes and bills and bathroom toilets that need scrubbing don't send me to a place of fantasy and imagination very often. I am currently not thinking about princesses and unicorns.
But I lie. Because it feels right to in the moment. "Me, too Miss M. Me, too..."
Over the course of the next few days, she asks me the same question over and over. And because this little one of mine is a package of routine and consistency and order, I know now how to respond. "Unicorns and Princesses!" I say, much to her delight.
This morning, we are driving to preschool and she announces that when she grows up, she is going to be a mermaid. "How beautiful..." I say. Not all announcements are as easy for me to go along with. For instance, she has recently declared that she wanted her 4th birthday party to be at a "fancy hotel".
At three years old, she is completely enveloped in a world of beautiful daydreams. I can only guess that she has a starring role in these imaginations, and I would love just a momentary glimpse into her little mind.
When she says something, it's more like a proclamation to her loyal subjects. I have nearly come to expect trumpet fanfares before she speaks. Whether she's officially changing her favorite color, "My new favorite color is now (drum roll.....) PURPLE!" or renaming all her dolls and animals (for a time, everything was named Casey. Recently, the order has gone out proclaiming all boy dolls to be Joey and all girl dolls to be Kara) she presents her thoughts with confidence and gusto!
She already has a more natural inclination toward mothering than I do, reading stories to her baby dolls and tucking them snugly into bed for naps. And perhaps that's what all this imaginative play is for anyway.
She's living the life of her daydreams right now. And I pray that translates into the life of her dreams as she gets older. One where she grows up to be a woman who knows her royal status as a daughter of the King of Kings. One where she relishes all the beautiful colors and moods and moments of her life. One where she is able to pour her creative energy into the lives of her own little "Joey" or "Kara" someday.
And as I watch her grow, I'll be thanking God for the privilege of raising a daughter who has opened my eyes to the world of unicorns and princesses. It's certainly more fun than the world of scrubbing toilets.