The conversation started with the discovery of a vintage wonder in my husband's house two weeks ago: a Fisher Price tanking station in almost perfect condition. Apart from a few accessories missing it is amazing and it obviously made the joy of our son who immediately started playing with it.
One thing however changed very quickly.
While the tanking station first delivered regular gas for regular imaginary cars...it suddenly turned into a charging station for electric cars. The same as on the highways in Germany.
In the same way as the youngest generations know that old phones (you know, landline ones, with a cable buttons or even a turning wheel instead of digits) are actual phones, but without any idea how they actually worked (for instance, a phone in which you cannot see your grand-parents on the screen is not concevable for my son), old toys can actually get a very modern twist, and it caught us by surprise.
I guess imagination is a big factor in the way such games evolve, but I want to believe that we, as parents, also contribute to the way they turn out. For instance, this week, instead of playing catch with the other boys, our son took one of his sticks to play...recycling.
He had his yellow fluorescent jacket on (the one Swiss kids wear at the nursery), a badge, a stick, and a strong sense of satisfaction when the other kids started helping collect the dry autumn leaves the stormy wind was blowing away.
It is of course difficult to know what amount of knowledge, values, influences...kids will gather from education at home, from what they learn in school, or from the way society is built around them in general.
But here you can surely imagine me grin of pride behind my screen as I write these words. I am proud of this little guy who understand, to whatever extend I do not know but surely a little, that some simple actions such as recycling, are important.