I have been blessed (or cursed) with a vivid imagination, and as a child my thoughts often took me to the world of the books I was reading — most often, the Little House books, of which I had a complete set, in hardback. Good thing, too, because I read and re-read those books so many times any paperback would have fallen apart, been replaced, and fallen apart again…and again.
So when I was eight and saw a pattern for a dress from roughly that era (how would I know a one or two decade difference?), I was thrilled. My mom made all my clothes, so I didn’t question her ability to make me that dress. Technically, it was my Halloween costume that year, but in reality it became my passport to a bygone era. I’d come home from school, put it on and sit alone imagining what my day would have been like 100 years before.
I never really outgrew those books. If I still had them, I’d read them today. However, eventually the books that would steal me away into a different world became the Nancy Drew mysteries. At first I imagined I was Bess, the slightly overweight, somewhat shy (imagine that) comrade, then I insinuated myself as myself into my own mysteries, still with Nancy as the one in charge, the rest of us following her lead.
Eventually I moved beyond those imaginative worlds, and while I suppose psychologically that’s probably a good thing, there’s a part of me that misses that creativity. Was I really trying to escape my own world, or was I just an inventive child who needed an outlet for her dreams and fanciful thinking? Sometimes I fear we take away an important part of childhood from those who need to let their minds run free.
So Laura, Mary, Nancy, George and Bess, you’re welcome anytime.