As a child, I had a vivid imagination and was an avid reader. I lived in fantastical worlds, worlds from books or from my own imagination. In my games I was a princess, an adventurer, a damsel in distress. Anything was possible.
But my childhood (and ongoing) fascination with fantasy has led to a profound sense of dissatisfaction as an adult. Everyday life is drab, humdrum. Real people never embark on great quests or do battle with forces of evil.
Part of me knows it is ridiculous to even feel this way. In the words of Tim Minchin, ‘Isn’t this enough? Just this world? Just this beautiful, complex, wonderfully unfathomable natural world?’ And he’s right, that should be enough. It is pretty amazing.
But where are my dragons? Where’s my holy grail, my quest, my dangerous journey, my mind-reading powers, my bow and arrow with which I will bring down the powers of evil, my letter from Hogwarts?
And so I ask this of my readers: If you had to raise a child, would you want it to have a vivid imagination and then later be disappointed by life? Or would you rather your child be completely down-to-earth and practical?