Currently my son is tearing the cushions off the couch.
First he set it up like a TV and him and his sister pretended to watch cartoons on it. Then he set it up as a tent. And when her brother asked if she wanted to go camping, Tess quickly took the clipboard out of his hand and signed up. It didn’t bother her that he really didn’t have a clipboard, nor that she can’t write. Then they pretended to look at the stars on the ceiling.
They slip in and out of imaginary worlds with ease. One minute they are running from monsters or hiking up a mountain or swimming across the living room.

I watched jealously wondering when we lose our ability to pretend.
10? 14? 21?
And suddenly realizing that we just get better at it with age.
We just start pretending about all the wrong things.

We pretend to be ok when we aren’t.
We pretend to have it together when we’re not.
We pretend to have answers when we don’t have a clue.
We pretend not to be scared when we are petrified.
We pretend that we aren’t struggling when we are slipping fast.
We pretend that we are listening when we are really making lists in our heads.
We pretend not to care when we do. A lot.
We pretend to care when we really don’t.

And, all that pretending is exhausting. I do my share, but I’ve never been good at.
Instead, I’d rather look at the stars on my ceiling. Or watch cartoons on my couch cushions.