I’m sitting on the front step looking out at the American flag gently blowing in the wind with three 80 ft Pine trees as a backdrop. Just beyond the trees is a roads that climbs uphill to the right and disappears; the only noise I usually hear during this morning coffee routine is the squirrels and blue jays arguing while the cardinals converse. This morning is different, Adam has joined me. Adam is 4 and loves to move and talk. It’s early for him since its summer and he usually sleeps in a little later. He came wobbling out the door and sat down next to me and proceeded to tell me about when he was 19. I sip my coffee, smile, and acknowledge his fantasy with a “really”. I’ve found if I listen I learn more, even from a 4 year old who has been 19. So after a few seconds of silence Adam says “Stop copyin me.” and I just sit there and drink my coffee wondering what he’s talking about; I haven’t said a word. He continues to look out towards the road saying “Stop copyin me.” I assume its his imaginary friend thing. Heck, he even talks about the time he was friends with the guy shopping at the grocery store when he was 18. So I’m used to his stories and imaginations. After several minutes of this I look at him and ask him who he’s talking to. I was about ready for some entertainment. He disappoints me by telling me “nobody”. So I press a little further and ask why he keeps saying “Stop copyin me.” He proceeds to tell me, “my echo.”. After a few seconds of confusion the caffeine kicks in and I realize the whole time he was playing with his echo like sometimes he does with his shadow. I’m always amazed at pre operational resilience! Adams brother is six and I had to correct him the other day when he made the comment during school registration that his brother was going to go to school and tell stories to everyone. The he said Adam lies all the time. So now I’m driving across town dodging the increase of traffic due to “school shopping” explaining that Adam isn’t lying when he tells a story or makes up friends. He is just being creative, not trying to get out of trouble. What echoed through my mind throughout the whole morning sitting there listening to Adam play with his echo was I hope that the adults Adam meets in his new “school experience” appreciate his creativity and story time as much as I do. It only makes mathematical sense that they certainly won’t have the time to “listen” to Adam like I do when he comes wobbling out the door in the morning to sit beside me and tell me a story. What’s worse is, he can’t write his imaginations yet so I’m gonna lose a lot of great stories; and now I’ve put his creativity in the hands of folks I don’t know, who may not be creative. But off he must go. I pray that God puts folks in his path that foster his creativity and nourish his imagination with possibilities, cause this world is not really a place for creativity. It’s a rigid structure that the folks who live in dont even understand what it does to their creativity. The world can be hard on creative minds. I hope Adam doesn’t “Stop copyin me.” The mind is a terrible thing to waste. School isn’t exactly the best place to send someone to develop their creativity, life does that. So ill get a new rhythm with Adam and keep his brain safe till his mind grows into it. And while he’s away being institutionalized ill have to be happy with sittin around playing with his echoes and shadows waiting to see the damage a day at school has done.