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Wish Nation

The Importance of Space

As adults, it can be difficult to think back to our childhoods without either misremembering details or forgetting aspects of our lives that at the time were essential. As I was looking through many recent wishes, two in particular caught my eye and reminded me of something I had forgotten up until now: the importance of personal space.

I remember a fort that a friend and I built out in the middle of our cul-de-sac back in elementary school. Even though I knew it was made up of an over-large umbrella and random clothing, it still felt like a mysterious place to hide out in. It was a space I had created myself and by virtue of that one fact I truly owned it. Because of this, I could make believe the lives that my friend and I imagined without the outside world of parents and home life always butting in.

Wish kids Trip and Kara have both had this childhood fascination with a space of their own realized. Trip received the ultimate freedom for anyone who loves to skate—his own personal ice rink. Kara wished for a castle to call her own, and lo and behold, a pink turreted structure appeared in her backyard. The common theme in both these wishes is that these spaces are perfect for escaping to and filling with the imaginings that only a child can come up with.

For Trip and Kara, this kind of escape needed to be more real than an umbrella covered in dirty laundry. Both children have gone through the process of transplants and have dealt with physical weaknesses such as bruising in Richard’s case and hearing loss in Kara’s. They needed a space of their own to be far more impressive than anything they could create by themselves.

When Trip steps out onto the ice rink that he has all to himself, when he checks his laces one last time and then begins to gather speed, he can look out into this space with the satisfaction that it exists because he wanted it to. He can race across the ice, battling against pro hockey players and sliding the puck in for the winning goal, starring in a match that will make history in his mind.

As she walks up to the front door of her new castle, Kara can leave anything behind that she feels is necessary to enter into the world of play. She can look out of the window, a wall separating her from what might be difficult or stressful on the outside. She can physically go to a space of comfort, a space she calls her “new home,” and decorate it in whatever way she prefers.

The power of space is its malleability and its association with particular emotions. Though they didn’t physically construct the ice rink and the castle, Trip and Kara’s wishes brought them to life. Think back to the “castles” that you created as a child. Remember how vividly real those places could be.

About this Blog

Wish Nation gives you a behind-the-scenes look at Make-A-Wish®. See how wishes come together and how they change lives forever. Hear directly from those who work or volunteer here, or those who have been transformed by a wish. And learn why we are so committed to someday granting the wish of every eligible child, every year.

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