Is It Just My Imagination?

As soon as I learned I was pregnant with our first, I began a running list of things for which I prayed.  I prayed for her to be healthy.  I prayed for her to be kind.  I prayed for her to love music.  I prayed for her to be smart.  I prayed for her to be born with a love for God burning in her heart.  I also prayed for her to have a vivid imagination.

I was an only child until I was seven years old.  I kept myself entertained quite well, and had a pretty wild imagination.  I was always making up games, stories, songs... and friends.  I had SEVERAL imaginary friends throughout my first 7 years- and what's strange is how vividly I still remember them.

I had Sara and Cara, the twins.  One was 10 and one was 12 (I obviously didn't understand how twins worked).  Sara had red hair, and Cara had green hair... they didn't stick around long. 

Then, I had the buffalo.  Three, to be exact.  They lived in our backyard, and would play with me when I played outside.  Again, they were colorful: one blue, one green, and one pink.  The blue and green buffalo were nice, but the pink one was mean and once pushed me down the slide, causing me to cut my cheek.  I still have the scar to this day.  (My mother really doesn't remember how I cut my face, but this is the story I told everyone in our small town.)  I was probably 4 at the time... and I REMEMBER telling people about them.  I remember playing with them.  I can even remember looking into the backyard and seeing them playing on my swing set when I was stuck in the house.

Last, but certainly not least, I had "Joey and the Boys."  They were a gang of boys that went everywhere with me- my poor mother had to load them in and out of the car, the bed, the bathtub- they were honestly with me everywhere I went for quite some time.  Just recently my mom and I were laughing about them, and I referenced how they looked- they were very much from the stereotypical Hollywood 50's film... white t-shirts, leather jackets, rolled jeans and slick hair.  Mom told me she never realized they were a 50's greaser gang. How did I never describe them to her?  Joey and the Boys were my best friends and protected me from whatever my wild imagination perceived as trouble, until one day, I grew tired of them and told Mom to make them leave.  She (happily, I'm sure) kicked them out of the house and they never came back.  Bless her.  

I love that she played along with my ridiculousness, and she encouraged my imagination.  The memories of her lugging around my "friends" came back to me yesterday as my daughter insisted that I put "Cheedy the crocodile" in bed with her during naptime... Cheedy also came with us to swim yesterday evening, and went along with us on errands today.   

Cheedy isn't the first friend Scarlett has created.  She has Tiki, some sort of animal that lived with us for a day or two.  Tiki had gone unmentioned for weeks, but Scarlett informed me yesterday that Tiki now lives in the "black forest" by my grandmother's house.   She also has Ashley, who started as the name of a doll and became an actual "friend."   

I think it's safe to say that my prayers have been answered with this girl.  Now, I pray that I have the patience and peace-of-mind to raise her.  Much to my mother's amusement, she's going to give it ALL back to me, ten-fold. 

Thought's on imaginary friends?  I've never done much research on them... I'm a bit afraid to see experts say on the matter!  Did you have them?  Do your kids?  I'd love to hear!


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