My husband and I have often discussed where our children get particular traits. Both kids have my detached earlobes, my sweet-tooth, and an inclination toward being overly sensitive. My husband is clearly responsible for our daughter’s big, blue eyes, her competitive nature, and our son’s affinity for pushing people to their limits.
But for certain, they get their imaginations from me.
When I was a child, I didn’t just have an imaginary friend…I had a whole family. Fourteen brothers and sisters, all named, aged, and with defined personalities. My position in the brood was smack-dab between two sets of twins.
When my daughter was younger, she had three such imaginary friends. But, whereas I kept mine a secret, she openly told people about hers. They went everywhere with us. One time we had to go so far as to GO BACK to church one Sunday, because she said we left one of them there. I will never forget holding my crying daughter, watching my husband walk down the aisle into an empty pew and grab the air as if he had lifted a child.
Our son’s good friend, however, isn’t actually imaginary…he’s inanimate. His best buddy is a soccer ball, and because it reminds us so much of Castaway, we gave “him” the name Wilson. Wilson gets good-morning hugs, plays hide-and-seek with our son, and is starting to show some serious signs of wear and tear. Nobody can make our son laugh like Wilson either. We’re not sure what he’s saying, but apparently, he’s quite the comedian.
So, unfortunately, when our son acts like a smart-aleck, I can’t say to my husband, “He gets that from you”…even though he does. Because all my husband has to do is point at a beat-up, tattered soccer ball to put me in my place.