This is the third in my series on Dabrowski's five over-excitabilities - Imaginational OE.
I would love to be a fly on the wall of the kidlet's imagination. There is so much going on in there, it's hard to even comprehend how busy it must be. It doesn't slow down - ever. He even imagines when he dreams. It took me a while to realize that imagination - creating and re-creating - is how the kidlet processes information.
As most boys do (notice I don't say "little" boys because the phenomenon carries into adulthood), the kidlet loves Legos. When we purchase a new set, he usually completes it one time by the instructions, then he starts on his improvements - instructions never to be picked up again. Sometimes he doesn't even get through the instructions the first time before he's improving things. Soon, he has made something completely different and completely wonderful, and nothing like the picture on the box. Creativity is his passion. And I don't say that flippantly - he wants to be an inventor (and "bio-inventor" is what he says).
He reads a book on dinosaurs - and all the thinks about (and all we hear about) for weeks are the "new dinosaurs" he is making up. "Do you have any ideas for my new dinosaur, mommy?" He insists that some of these dinosaurs that he is making up will eventually be found in the deeper digs or new areas that haven't been explored yet ("you can't prove they never existed, mommy.") He researches Latin and Greek words to make sure he names them in true paleontologist form.
Then he reads a book on WWII weaponry, and all he thinks about are tanks and guns for weeks. He makes up new tanks: this one is really heavy but has extra-thick armor so it's impenetrable; this one is fast and light, but made of titanium (or, he also makes up new elements that provide super-strength or other characteristics) so it's really strong; this one can shoot accurately over a distance of ten miles.
Next it's Star Wars. He makes up a new planet - including flora and fauna, intelligent life, atmosphere, and physical forces on the planet from its star or neighboring planets or moons. He makes up new technologies for the planet, decides how its life forms will interrelate with the life forms of other planets, and whether it's a member of the Rebellion or the Empire.
I can't believe how long it took me to realize that this is actually how he processes information - through his imagination. I know that he has learned something deeply when he starts telling me how he is improving it or something new he's created to go with it. Recently, he's even been coming up with a few scientific hypotheses through this process that I think have real merit (having to do with the proteins and enzymes inside of cells), if he can figure out a way to research and prove them.
The kidlet takes all that he reads, watches, or learns - which is mostly non-fiction - and improves it in amazingly creative ways. Reality feeds his imagination. Soon his imagination will be feeding reality.