When I was little, I believed in the magic of Mr. Bubble. Those of you old enough will remember the TV commercials for this kid’s bubble bath in which Mr. Bubble rose up in the tub and talked to the delighted children. I would sit in my bath until every last bubble was gone, waiting for Mr. Bubble to appear.
I don’t remember believing in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy (although one of my favorite books was all about the Tooth Fairy), but I believed in the magic powers of this powdered soap. You could say that one way or the other, a kid’s imagination is going to end up disappointing her.
But that’s not to say that same imagination won’t delight a child. While I never exactly had an imaginary friend, I confided all of my secrets to my rag doll, Jennifer. When she finally fell apart after years of loving, I was devastated. I don’t think I ever believed she was real in a real person sense, just in that real doll sense. I knew she could keep a secret, so she must have understood them, right?
In these troubling times–and I speak not only of world and national troubles, but of the day-to-day struggles so many of you are dealing with–imagination seems the best escape. As adults we temper the imaginary with the real, and that’s not so bad. But we have to be able to believe in better times and to conjure up images of what those days will look like.
Call it a coping mechanism or call it a dreamer’s dream, imagination may save you and keep you sane.
At least, it helps me. And now I’m heading in for a bubble bath…