On your birthday this year, I wrote a lot about your transition to young adulthood and the shedding of the innocent layers of your youth. Your child-like desires and actions are becoming more like a translucent desert mirage rather than an every day occurrence. So when I see a bit of that magical desire for pure play emerge from within you, I grab my camera to record the moment.

At the start of the school holidays I received a large delivery (new suitcases to be precise). The box was big…the type of box from the Mastercard ad where the kid receives the expensive toy but prefers playing with the box. I wondered…if I leave it out would any of my children play with it or would it just get in the way and be thrown out when our fortnightly recycles get picked up? I thought that perhaps your brother may climb into it a few times before the novelty wore off….but I was pretty convinced you would not even notice it in your world. How wrong was I.

Within a day, this box had been turned into an intricately detailed vending machine, complete with product descriptions ,  prices, item codes, a slot for money and another slot to expel the food. There were a few tears when unbeknown to any of us Cino chewed up a few of the items (aka the pictures from the Woolworths catalogue) and still you did not give up….you painstakingly cut more food items and updated the vending machine.

And then it was time…..you climbed in with a torch and patiently awaited your customers. First your dad, then your mum and even your brother was allowed to take part. And then you continued to surprise me as the vending machine got a workout the next day…and the next…and the next.

We still have a long summer holidays ahead of us. I wonder what will become of this vending machine box? Will it be forgotten as Roblox and playdates and holiday boredom and devices and summer ice cream excursions take over? Perhaps, but I also know that you will never be too old to play like a child. For you have been born with this innate gift and your imagination has been nurtured to ensure that there will always be magic in your life.