This past Sunday, much of the world celebrated an event I would consider to be one of my most favourite unofficial holidays of the year – St. Patrick’s Day.
Five years ago I may not have been able to write a column such as this, due to the fact that the much of my St. Patrick’s Day events would have been blurred by green beer and far too much fun had the night before.
However, as I travelled the city’s pubs covering their St. Patrick’s Day events, I have to admit, knowing I wasn’t going to regret that last green beer and would be waking up with a clear head, made me feel good about the fact I was covering the events and not participating in them.
Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a green beer once a year and celebrating my Irish heritage will always be one of my favourite past-times. However, the way in which I celebrate has reverted back to the days when I was too young for green beer and green milkshakes were all the rave.
One of my favourite perks to being a parent, is that I get to act like a kid again.
I get to recreate the imaginary world of leprechauns, Easter bunnies, tooth fairies and yes, Santa Claus for my kids, just as my parents did for me.
I know in today’s world some people think it is ridiculous to play into these “corporate holiday gimmicks” but I say why not?
The imagination over the years has proven to be an incredible tool in creating , inventing and achieving the said to be impossible.
Do you think Alexander Graham Bell would have invented the telephone without imagination, do think we would have motion picture cameras if Thomas Edison didn’t think outside the box?
Albert Einstein said, “imagination is more important than knowledge,” and he is considered one of the most influential minds of all time.
Although catching a leprechaun is a far cry from inventing the mathematical equation for the nature of energy, the creativity in creating the trap, the imagination needed to envision the little green man and the innocence needed to truly believe there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, are all part of the creative process.
Whether it takes painting little green foot prints leading away from a homemade leprechaun trap, setting up an Easter egg hunt or eating the cookies my daughter has left out for Santa, I will do whatever I can to help keep those imaginary figures alive, because I truly believe they all have a place in a child’s life and the innocence needed to believe in these mythical characters is lost far too quickly.
In a world where children are growing up at a rapid pace and the harsh realities of life can be found at the click of a button, it seems to be even more important to preserve whatever innocence we can in today’s youth.
Encouraging children to think outside the box and believe in the unknown will do nothing more than create a generation of believers, dreamers and inventors.
Growing up is already a difficult task, I have been struggling with it for 30 years now, but thanks to my kids, I now have an excuse to re-enter the world the world of the imaginary and enjoy a part of my youth I too was quick to toss aside.
Although celebrating St. Patrick’s Day among my fellow adults is a lot of fun, for now I think I will stick to chasing the rainbow and keeping the imaginary pot of gold alive for as long as I possibly can.