I had the good fortune of spending some quality time with my nephew not too long ago. He is a treasure, to be sure. He’s got the sweetest disposition and is one of the funniest people I know. And not in the way that little kids say funny stuff sometimes; no, he is legit funny. Playing store with my sister once, he demanded that he be called Schwartzman Cortez. I think he was about three-years-old at the time. He is four and a half now and just gets better with age.
From our most recent visit he began to tell me tales of his “fight crew”. Everything in quotes here are his exact words. But, let it be known that regardless of quotes, I have made no fabrications.
He was in one crew but got kicked out of it (my memory is failing me here, but I think they were called the Dog Poopers), so he had to start his own. And he did (though I cannot remember the name of the new crew). He only had 400 members, but that’s only because he was just starting. He began to tell me about some of his recruits. First there was Scotty McGee, nicknamed Shorty. He got his nickname because he jumped into a pool that he thought was water, but really it was poison. In order to treat him once he got to the hospital, they had to use this “plasma” to make him better, but the plasma’s side effect? Shrinking. Poor Scotty was the size of an infant, but he had a mean streak that made him perfect for a fight crew. Second, there was Henrietta Frankfurter who he met at a strip mall. To clarify, I asked him what she was doing there. “Shopping,” he tells me, “She’s wearing some of the beautiful clothes she bought that day right now.” I was curious so I asked how he knew that she was going to be good for his fight crew. He then proceeded to tell me that he just walked up to her and asked her what she did for her life. “Fight” was her answer. At that moment he knew that she was the right fit for his crew. It was later revealed that Henrietta was a four-year-old “street kid” after he offered her company for my drive back to Chicago from Cincinnati.
That’s as far as we got because another adult came out and he became too shy to talk about it anymore. It was at that moment that I realized how lucky I am. This little man entrusted me with pieces of his imagination and I am incredibly grateful. Not only was it entertaining, but it was inspiring. No self-doubt, no concern for whether things made sense or not, just pure imagination.
What a privilege it is to pretend and what an honor to bear witness to another’s imagination!