Rene Descartes said “I think, therefore I am” which in the context of ambition has been adapted to “I dream, therefore I am”! I had read that aside the dreams that occur at night, children begin to dream early, and unlike adults there are no limits to their dreams. While as parents we have the responsibility to equip them with the skills and resources to fuel those dreams into reality, it is also important to ensure that their dreams are to some extent tempered by realism, especially as they grow up. Similarly, day dreaming is fine so long as it doesn’t disrupt one’s routine activities. Off late I’ve caught Abhay daydreaming or pre-occupied and this is especially when asked to do something he dislikes, like eating or getting ready for school. He is a perpetual dreamer at the dining table, be it morning, noon or at night. So much so that we have to shake him out of his reverie and remind him to chew the food that has been shoved into his mouth!
So today we read “Willy, the Dreamer” by Anthony Browne from the British Library. Abhay loved his illustrations in the earlier book that we had read. In fact, this particular book was awarded the Hans Christian Anderson Medal for excellence in illustration. This is a story of Willy, an anthropomorphic monkey loves to dream. He lays on the couch and pictures himself in different roles. Sometimes Willy dreams that he is a filmstar (shown in an ensemble cast of monkeys) or a singer ( in Elvis Presley style), a sumo wrestler ( Willy is shown to be nervously taking on a giant gorilla) or a ballet dancer, or a painter or an wildlife explorer (Willy is shown exploring humans in a jungle!), or a famour writer ( Willy is shown to be signing books) or a Scuba diver. Sometimes Willy has incredible dreams too, he dreams that he cannot run but that he can fly. He's dreams that he is a giant or tiny as a bug or that he is a beggar or a king. Sometimes Willy dreams that he is a strange landscape (a banana world!) or all at sea (Willy's version of Life of Pi) or of fierce monsters (that look very much like him!) or of super heroes (which is a very flattering description of Willy!) Sometimes Willy dreams of the past (when he was a baby) or of the future ( Willy imagines to be a dad of two kids)…..Willy thus dreams on! So when I asked Abhay what does he dream about, he told me about his latest dream and that is to imagine himself as Tintin! (Tintin being his new-found fascination) Of course we can’t deny them their right to dream, but I can’t afford to have him day dream when the outcome of his dream is that our little Tintin comes home from school without having eaten his lunch! :-)