Growing Machine

Have you ever read a book and wished you could jump in and live the life the characters are living? If even for a moment, wouldn’t it be great to step inside and live the life you are reading about and have an experience that is so outside of your own?  To see the people the main character sees, to love with the passion of new love described, or even to step inside a murder mystery and be the hero that saves a city? 

Ahhh, the beautiful world of books.

Did you know that kids have those thoughts, too?  Last night I was reading Charlie and Chanelle a few books in Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter Series. (Sidenote:  these are great books and I would recommend them to any parent. Get them here .)  In the story Little Critter was feeling sad that he was little and so he decided to make a growing machine.  I won’t spoil the story, but Charlie and Chanelle both commented, “I wish I had a growing machine.” 

Hmmmm. . . an idea is sparked.  Why couldn’t we make our own growing machine?  Charlie and Chanelle began talking about it immediately and we planned to start the next morning. 

Charlie woke up at 6:15 ready to go. . . “Can we get started on the growing machine?”  (Note to self:  do not tell kids about plans the night before.)  He assured me that he was up all night waiting and didn’t sleep at all.  I made him wait awhile longer, but we got to it. . .

First, gather materials.

Next, get the book or the “instruction manual”, according to Charlie.

My son is extremely detail oriented.  One step at a time he delegated our jobs . 

“Chanelle, put the letters on. . . “

“Next, add the glitter and decorations. . . “

“Okay, Mommy, I’ll work on the controls, you put it together.

I thought our project was complete and was slapping high fives with the kids feeling quite proud of our creation.  Charlie, however, was not pleased. . .

“Mommy!  What about our hats and vests?!” 

When he saw that I was completely unaware of what he was talking about, he picked up the book to to show me. 

Ahhhh, how could I forget such an important detail? 

There we go, two and a half hours later they have their very own Growing Machine. . . what they don’t know is that I disabled it because I am so not anxious for them to grow.

In all seriousness, such tasks might seem hardly worth the effort to many.  I am keenly aware, though, that it will not be long before such an idea will bring an eye roll and a “You’re such a nerd, Mom.”  So while I have these days when their imaginations have no limits, I’m choosing to enjoy them. 

I hope that they will always take time to live in their imaginations.  I hope that as their lives becomes more busy and more “grown up” that they do not neglect their creative side.  I’m thankful for the opportunity I have with them to revisit my own creative side. . . however small and sloppy it might be.  And while I realize that they might never remember this silly morning we spent together, I know that I will never forget it. 

My childhood may be over, but that doesn’t mean playtime is.  
~Ron Olson

  • Ashley - October 6, 2010 - 4:00 pm

    Oh, okay. I remember those books. I use to love reading them. I think its one of those books that I remember where they cleaned the boys room by putting everything in shoe boxes and put labels on everything. Looks like a fun day!ReplyCancel

  • Trophy Life - October 6, 2010 - 11:49 pm

    yeah, they probably won't forget it. after all, they are in hats and vests made of foil! ; ) it's so awesome, that little growing machine. i had a feeling you had disabled it though!ReplyCancel

  • Kendra - October 7, 2010 - 3:46 am

    Sumo, you are such a wonderful mom! I certainly don't have this kind of supply stash around. How do you do it? I am in such awe of you, and you are an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing this!ReplyCancel

  • lisa - October 7, 2010 - 3:03 pm

    Oh my gosh! I'm sitting here laughing all the way through this post til' the last paragraph- now I'm crying!! What a wonderful memory! Wow….you are an awesome mom!
    Love the hats & vests!! hee hee!!!ReplyCancel

  • SassyTimes - October 7, 2010 - 6:43 pm

    This HAS to be the cutest thing ever. I read a few pages to my 2 year old online and she loved the book. That's for the link….I ordered it and can't wait to read it to her in full.

    You are an awesome mom!ReplyCancel

  • Rachael Hammett - October 8, 2010 - 7:35 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to be in the moment…it is a priceless gift to your children, literally no pricetag could be placed on the time and attention you give to them. They will be deeply impacted and better children of God because of how you love them so individually and with your full heart. It is a gift to us reading too…a beautiful reminder of what an important perspective this is to have. PS…I love that you disabled it..I"ll never tell them! Your secret is safe with me!ReplyCancel

  • Ky • - October 8, 2010 - 8:06 pm


  • Rachael Hammett - November 7, 2010 - 1:45 am

    Just re-read this one…I love it!ReplyCancel

  • Hummel Family - June 6, 2011 - 7:03 pm

    SO SO SO SO Creative! You are one of the best Moms out there, Summer!!! I think this even looks like fun and I am a grown adult woman!ReplyCancel

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