Monday, March 8, 2010

and the oscar goes to...

Martin can make almost any small object into a character in one of his imaginary plays and musicals. The tiniest Lincoln Logs, plain wood blocks, Lego people, and plastic animals have all starred in these theatrical pieces. But that makes sense, because those things are toys. At other times, Martin has used carrots and celery, toothbrushes, sugar snap peas, and flower petals. In fact, if my husband and I misplace a small item, we check in Martin's room and often find that our toiletries and snacks have been enlisted for dramatic purpose.

When Martin enacts these little dramas, he is in his own world. This world has an internal logic, a screenplay, and usually a soundtrack. Each piece must run from start to finish. There are no interruptions allowed. It does not matter if a little girl at the library also wants to play with the dollhouse and its occupants. It is of no concern to Martin that the rest of the world is on a schedule. He's like a tiny Hollywood director, so relentlessly focused that nothing else matters.

I used to be more concerned about this activity, especially when Martin struggled so mightily to communicate with other people. But now that he has an easier time having conversations, I'm less uptight about it. Playing out these dramas seems to make him comfortable. They let him have the world his way, which is a nice change of pace for a kid who struggles against the endless ways the world expects him to conform.

I'd like to give Martin a tiny Oscar, for all his singularity of vision and all of his capacity to create his own worlds no matter how much his loving parents and others try to draw him out of them. While I would never want him to spend all his time immersed in his figurine dramas, I'm glad he has something he loves.

1 comment:

  1. Are those Breyer horses? I used to love horses as a child, and would play for hours with my toy horses, making up entire storylines for them...

    The little sturdy plastic horses (not Breyer- but unbreakable, thus better) are all over trading posts in the Southwest. That is where my parents used to buy them for me. This entry just took me back to childhood and the horse days, and made me smile. Thanks Jen.