Yesterday morning, my seven year old son was playing in our back yard. I looked out the window to see him talking to himself…non-stop.
I watched for a few minutes then I walked outside and asked, “Who are you talking to?”
He replied, “My friends.”
He held out his arm and pointed toward the garage, “The cars. The cars are my friends.”
I found this oddly comforting. Not the fact that my son was going all David Hasselhoff on me, but because these friends of his were real objects.
When my daughter was young, she had an entire entourage of imaginary friends. Friends we couldn’t see. We would get in a lot of trouble when one of them was sitting on the couch and we didn’t realize it. For the record, you can smash something that isn’t even there.
Her favorite friend was Simba. Simba went everywhere with us. Simba ate with us, watched TV with us and even ran errands with us.
And, one time, we accidentally left Simba in a church pew.
After Mass, as the entire congregation was beginning to exit the church, we stood at the back of the building trying to comfort our crying daughter who was throwing a fit because we were leaving her friend behind.
Trying to talk sense into her did no good. Our little girl was crushed. So we did the only thing we could think of doing. People watched as my husband walked back to our empty pew, grabbed at the air, “picked up” Simba and delivered him to our daughter’s waiting arms.
Now do you see why I’m happy about my son’s new friends? You can’t take an SUV to church. Though I will say, his friends do cost more to feed.