“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world and all there ever will be to know and understand.” ~Albert Einstein
My boys finished school the other day, but it wasn’t until today that it was obvious that summer had at last begun for them. At 8:15 p.m., they were still outside, tearing around the neighbor’s yard with their neighbor buddies, chasing, yelling, and laughing incessantly. They were so loud I had to close the kitchen window so I could hear the television. I knew it then it was officially summer vacation.
Before they ran outside, they had gone into the basement and put on some ridiculous costumes. Their buddies were also at home donning crazy costumes for what Joe swore was going to be an “epic battle” between good and evil. They’ve been watching too much of The Avengers. Joe’s costume was comprised of pieces from two different Halloween costumes. His bottom half was a ninja and his top half was a knight. The best part was the fuzzy helmet from last year’s Warrior Dash, which gave him horns. He explained that his character was Cow Man. Cow man is half cow/half man and is not to be confused with a Minotaur, which is clearly half man/half cow. Luke’s character was Big Muscle. He was wearing part of a Star Wars costume for Darth Maul. Underneath that muscled costume were two other costumes added to give him the appearance of massive, bulky muscles. Luke’s outfit was completed by an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball cap, which somehow made him look like his two-year-old alter ego, Race Car Man, but I didn’t tell him that. Big Muscle, Luke informed me, is also known one day a year as Big Butt, but he told me that was a story for another time and they rushed out the door to rendezvous with their equally crazy superhero friends.
This morning the boys had their award ceremony at school. It’s one of my favorite events of the year because each child is given an award based on their character. Today Luke was, for the second time in three years, given an award for being “Delightful.” (No doubt in my mind that he wholeheartedly believes that award is well-deserved.) Joe was given an award for being “Tenderhearted,” which aptly describes my deep thinker. While I highly doubt either of my boys will ever earn the highly coveted Principal’s Award, which is given to students with straight A grades and flawless conduct, I like to think that their vast and unbridled imaginations will carry them far all the same. I appreciate their ability to think outside the box, to envision the seemingly impossible, and to dream beyond their reality. When I see Cow Man and Big Muscle, I recognize their potential. I have creative boys who take something like The Avengers and remake it into something all their own. They don’t simply parrot what they see; they improve upon it. My guys aren’t superheroes yet, but I imagine it could happen. When they do become Cow Man and Big Muscle someday and come to visit me, I know Cow Man will leave his cow patties in the backyard and Big Muscle will not discuss his Big Butt at the dinner table. After all, behind every great superhero is a supermom who taught him everything she knows.