Last week, you played with Barnacles, Peso, Shellington, Kwazii, Dashy and Trick (whom I am mispronouncing, you tell me). They are your friends in Ecuador, and they are found in the treetops, but sometimes they move to the fish pond and you must call them each, one by one, until they float to the surface and you all run together to find the alpacas for your morning riding session.

They do not like tacos for dinner, they want their feet to breathe, they bite their nails in the afternoon.

They are imaginary to me.
They are real to you.

Last night, after a warm bath, you began to cry. You do not want to sleep alone, you want to play a bit longer, you want to have a snack, you want to talk to Dad, you want to know who made your favorite baby chick. You are three now, and your emotions are a summer storm – vivid, final, earth-shaking.

They are imaginary to me.
They are real to you.

It has been said that we are what we think; that our actions of today are simply manifestations of yesterday’s thoughts. That time is not linear, and our brains are muscles, and if we exercise enough positivity and imagination and endurance, well then, the treetops in Ecuador are far below our limit.

I don’t know if it’s true. It doesn’t make sense. But sometimes, the deepest truths make the littlest sense, so this morning, I drive to the coffee shop. I write about our family, your future, our plans, a few hopes. I pray. I dream. I reflect.

I see.

Yesterday, it was only imaginary to me.
Today, it is real to us.

I am home now. We are looking for Shellington. He is under the dining room table, you point, just over there.

I have bad news, I say. We’re having tacos for dinner. Would Shellington like some eggs?

That’s OK, Mom, you say. Tacos are only in his imagination.

  • You might want to watch Octonauts to get pronunciations on some of Bee’s friend’s names. I haven’t identified any definite imaginary friends with Forrest but he has started having whole stories and conversations while playing by himself with cars, animals, etc., and it’s pure magic. = )

    • Haaaaaaaa you know, I JUST put that all together. Of course they’re the Octonauts! After googling, I see it is “Tweak.” ;)

  • Yes. Love. *sigh*. Warm fuzzies…
    You are a gift.
    Every time a new post of yours shows up in my blog feed, I feel like a kiddo on Christmas morning.

  • This was good. Exactly what I needed: to remember that my own just-turned-three-year-old’s emotions are very very real to him, even as I turn away and stifle laughter because he is screaming like his entire village has been burned to the ground because I said no to a snack.
    It’s absurd. But it’s real.
    Thanks for the reminer.

  • As mother of three year old girl, this resonates with me. You put into words so beautifully the ups and downs of raising toddlers, in particular imaginative girls!

  • My son (now 6) also had lots of invisible friends at age 3. I love the magic of childhood imagination. What fun!

  • These names are quite imaginary to me too (being based on the other side of the planet, you know…) ;-) Love how the little ones show us the way – how they teach us to stay imaginative one moment and bring us back to reality and grow up instantly the other.

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