An Ode To The Little Dreamers

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The dreamer child. You probably know one if you weren't one yourself. The daydreamer, the storyteller, the dramatic one. The child who stands in the doorway in gym class, thinking up fairy tales as the volleyball sails past their head. The child who draws masterpieces on their math homework, or comes up with fibs that are so clever, you want to believe them even though you know they're not true. The dreamer child's head is always in the clouds, so much so that you have more than once grabbed the collar of their shirt as they started to walk into traffic. Think of the Luna Lovegoods to the Harry Potters of the world. We're all picturing someone right now, aren't we? I know I am. I know one. And yes, I was one.

And boy can they (we) be a pain. I always "forgot" my sneakers for gym. I once, being forced into playing field hockey one summer, impeccably acted out a heat stroke so convincingly that I was allowed to sit under a tree for the rest of the day, sipping from my water bottle and making up stories about being held captive by elves. Thankfully I was soon after allowed to take drama instead of a sport, although that heat stroke was one of my best performances. I realize that physical activity is vital for kids, but for some, it's always going to be a battle, and that's okay. Kids can't always get what they want, so if your child is the one in the baseball outfield, staring at the clouds as their teammates scream that he or she is about to get beaned with the ball, it's okay. They're just a dreamer, and dreamers have their own skill set that might not involve soccer on Saturday mornings.

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So what to do with the dreamer child? Obviously they have to go to school, and activities, and social events they might be too shy for. And it's probably really hard for them sometimes, but that's okay too. I look at the little dreamer I know and see myself in her so much. All I wanted to do as a kid was make up stories, and play pretend, and read. School was not easy for me, social situations even harder, and when I meet a child now who's a dreamer I want to tell them that it does improve, that as they get older they'll find the other dreamers in art class, or the school play, or sitting under a tree reading a book between classes.

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But we, the adult dreamers, are just grown ups, and what do we know? Kids, whether they are dreamers or not have to figure out their paths themselves, and of course we help them as much as we can, but their passions come from what's inside them. Our job is to encourage them in what they enjoy, of course, but it's so difficult when they slip and fall and try and fail. I want to scoop up the kids in my life and tell them not to worry, and that I'll fix everything for them, but that's not how it works, and they wouldn't want that anyway.

So here's to the dreamers. I hope someday I can sit under a tree with my little dreamer and she can share the stories she comes up with. But I'm just an adult, and adults, of course, don't understand. Your dreamers and mine, they'll find each other.

And that's the way it should be.