We have a family of foxes living in our backyard. There are at least five of them, some days as many as ten. There's at least one baby in the bunch, and that's the Friendly Fox. But they're all Good Foxes. Evan has tried to name them, but it's hard to keep that many foxes straight. They keep coming back because Evan feeds them every day. Before he sits down to eat his own meal he opens the back door, calls them, and sprinkles some food out on the deck for them. Evan just loves these foxes. They even came with us to Mom Mom and Pop's house after Christmas. They rode on a trailer that was hitched to the back of our van. They're pets, maybe....or friends. And they're completely imaginary.
He's a great pretender, that Evan. And I would just love to know what Max thinks about the whole thing. Max is at that wonderful age where he's big enough to understand everything, but little enough to make you think that he must be some sort of genius when he does. When Evan opens the back door and sprinkles "food" out for his "foxes," is Max thinking, "Oh, I hope I get to see the foxes this time!" or is it more like, "Uh, guys? You DO know there are no foxes, right?" I can't tell if he's playing along or not.
But watching Evan pretend is nothing new for Max. In fact, Max is often the star (willing or not) of Evan's play scenarios. Today we were playing pirates. (Pirates who did more marine-life rescues than swashbuckling--it was amazing how many baby whales were abandoned by their mothers and needed Us Pirates to push them up to the surface--but pirates nonetheless.) Max was an able deckhand at the start of the game. When we happened upon Dinosaur Island, he became a fierce and fearsome Plesiosaurus. And when the seas became rough, we hoisted our little baby up to the tippy top of the mast to serve as our Look Out.
I think my favorite scene from today's story line was when Evan the Pirate ordered Max and I to "walk the plank." I thought he was commandeering our vessel, but it turned out we needed to "just unhook the anchor, 'kay?" We were given life preservers before we walked. When the anchor was unhooked, Evan the Pirate gave another order: "Mommy and Max Pirates, Unwalk the Plank!"
It was a pretty lazy day, today...stuck at home due to icy roads. But that's just the right kind of day for some Imagination Development, which is just about all we did, and I'm okay with that.