Playing Pretend

July 18, 2015 by Rieshy

Sitting on a bench next to my granddad in the mall as a child I learned how to pretend.  We would pass the time while waiting for my grandmother and various aunts to finish shopping by active people-watching.  My granddad would pretend to know all sorts of secrets about the passing shoppers.  It was always Cold War intrigue and the stories he would make up on the fly were both elaborate and entertaining.  The number of Russian operatives in his small West Texas community was impressive.

Pretending runs pretty rampant in the family.  I can use words other than "pretend"  if I want to sound more adult, for instance, I might admit I sometimes visualize ninja warriors attacking me as I work through my Katas.  But it's pretty much playing pretend.

My seventy-five year old father is honest.  He told me that when he takes his dogs on his daily 5 mile woodsy walk through the deep Michigan snow, he likes to pretend that he's part of the Finnish resistance of WWII, especially as he crests hills.

One of my children, who shall remain unnamed (Ben) for several years regularly donned dress pants, a white dress shirt, cowboy boots, and a black clip-on tie in order to ride his bike through the neighborhood.  Though he looked like a junior Mormon missionary in reality he was pretending to be Chuck Norris, Texas Ranger style.

Another unnamed child (Sarah) wore a polka-dotted apron like a cape and one weight lifting glove on her left hand for most of a year.  We never figured that one out.

Two weeks ago I offered my seven and nine year old boys the opportunity to earn $15 apiece for sanding our deck in preparation for re-staining it.  The terms were agreed upon, it being most important to the seven year old that I pay in One Dollar Bills.  I have to capitalize One Dollar Bills because in the negotiations every time my seven year old repeated the phrase he over-enunciated quite vehemently and his eyebrows raised with each separate syllable.

The boys did the best sanding job I've ever seen and I paid them in One Dollar Bills.  Visions of legos and Percy Jackson books danced in the 9 year olds eyes as he pocketed his money.  The seven year old however made me pause.  As he twisted his stack of one dollar bills into a fat roll he mentioned matter-of-factly, "Mom, now you need to buy me a very small suitcase and a package of rubber bands."

I'm hoping he's pretending.


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