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by Jani Taylor, From the AARP Bulletin Print Edition, October 1, 2010
When my four children and I used to escape into our world of make-believe, nothing else existed. What does a sinkful of dishes matter when we are transported to a place where an elephant reigns as king? Yes, that roast needs to be cooked, but we'll grab a quick sandwich or some soup for supper and keep reading. That way, we can find out where Harry hid the scrub brush, how Rabbit got Pooh unstuck, or what the Army of Glockenstein did when General Von Blunderberg's cannons pelted them not with cannonballs but with warm apple strudel. (They stopped fighting and ate it, of course.)
How can housework or cooking be more important than our secret and sacred place, that place of our imagination? Where a porcupine does the laundry and a frog wears a raincoat, where you might find a friendly crocodile in your bathtub, and you can grow a tomato as big as the house!
Though my four children are all grown now, when life gets to be too much I can still go shopping with Carl, hop on a boat and get caught in the fog with Mrs. Moon, or march around Paris with Madeline and the other girls in two straight lines.
The world of make-believe is not so much about escape as it is about renewal and healing. And hope. Imagine a place where we can all have a 6-foot white rabbit as a best friend, and where we can enjoy second breakfast in the house of our favorite hobbit. Call me a dreamer, but I say let us all travel more often to that world where the Man in the Yellow Hat is in charge.
Jani Taylor is a reader from Pendergrass, Ga.
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