Every morning, the story grows bigger.
“Mommy!” cries Eamon, as I walk in the door to greet him after waking. “Red Claw!”
Of course, you know who Red Claw is, don’t you? How could you not? Doesn’t everyone watch hours and hours of Land Before Time, in which there are many villains who threaten the peace and sanctuary of the valley, but none so vicious and cruel as the infamous T-Rex Red Claw? Of course you do.
“What about Red Claw?” I ask.
“Inna table!” he whispers, pointing at his dresser/changing table.
“Red Claw is in your table?” I query.
Eamon nods. We check the table, even when the table proves absent of any gigantic, long-extinct therapods, Eamon just shakes his head. “Hiding,” he tells me.
Enter Mommy, first thing in the morning.
“Shh!” cautions Eamon. “Eamon scared!”
“Why are you scared?” I whisper back.
“Red Claw! Inna table!”
“Red Claw is in the table again?”
“No,” says Eamon. A slight smile plays upon his lips before he remembers he’s supposed to be scared and returns to an expression of utter terror. “TWO Red Claws! Inna drawer!”
“Good morning, Eamon!”
Eamon quickly throws down the book that he has been "reading" to entertain himself, and assumes his terrified expression as per his new morning habit. Improvising quickly, he pulls his blanket up around him as if trying to hide. “Mommy! Two Red Claws! Running! Eamon scared!”
“The Red Claws were running?”
“Chasing Eamon! Oh no! Eamon scared!”
“I’m sorry that the two Red Claws were chasing you last night.”
Eamon nods solemnly. Then he throws off the blanket and stands up proudly in his bed. “Eamon say, ‘No Red Claw! No bite me, Eamon!’” He waggles a little finger as he recreates how he told off two giant, slavering and starving carnivores.
“You told the Red Claws not to bite you?”
“And then what happened?”
“Ran away! Inna table!” He smiles triumphantly, then adds, for emphasis, “Hah!”
In a few more days, I expect that we will be up to a sword-fight taking place on a narrow bridge overlooking a moat of razor-toothed alligators.
I have often been accused of being too lazy to reign in my own rather wild imagination. It is better at having adventures than I am, which is why I am content to let it be in charge. I generally prefer to simply follow my imagination wherever it leads rather than standing up to it and acknowledging the actual world around me. Off we go, my imagination seated proudly on the prancing Rozinante, while I follow behind, occasionally remembering the basics like food and shelter.
So I can only be ecstatic that Eamon appears to have a similar imagination. Together we can ride off into the sunset, defeating nefarious windmills and lecturing nonexistent Red Claws on the impoliteness of biting small children.
Somebody has to.