My daughter is in a season of deciphering “real” from “pretend.” For her, this leads to a lot of questions about The Little Mermaid and the purple lady, wondering about Facetime, playing real kitchen with pretend food, etc.
Fast forward 30 years, and I’m afraid these questions and scenarios haven’t left me either. Nevertheless, this isn’t dress up – this is happening – this is real. This simple realization, and hopefully a constant reminder, is enough to walk into, with, and out in love throughout our days with all that we do.
When you’re present with your moments, not only do you open yourself to be in love with an idea of something, but you also learn to romance yourself with the processes and laws of nature required of that particular something. You’ll love the flower and you’ll take pleasure in gardening. You’ll love the music and you’ll enjoy learning and honing the instruments. You’ll love the poem and you’ll appreciate the emotions. You’ll love the game and you’ll look forward to practice. You’ll love being a mom or dad and you’ll savor parenting. Our ideas and things we dream about turn to (or stay) pretend when we avoid the gardening, the learning of instruments, the emotions, the practice, the parenting, and so forth.
In the end, when you run from the processes and laws of nature, you will be running straight into the land of ‘pretend’ all the while thinking to yourself “are we there yet?”.
Iris Murdoch once wrote, “Love is the very difficult understand that something other than yourself is real.”
Like I said, my daughter is in a season of deciphering “real” from “pretend.” So am I.