When my daughter was little, she had hundreds of imaginary friends. They would go with her everywhere, making sure she was safe, happy and ready to face the world.
Often, I would hear her talking to them when she was alone in her room, sharing secrets and passing stories across the pink princess table she used for hosting tea parties.
At times, she would laugh so hard, I’d drop whatever I was doing and peek around the corner just so I could catch a glimpse of her in action.
“I can see you, mom,” she’d scream as if the room were three miles away.
“What’s going on in here?”
“Nothing. Just Watching TV.”
“Who are you talking to?”
“Oh,” she’d smirk, pointing at the television. “I’m just telling my pretend friends which character I wanna be.”
But the second I’d leave the room, she’d start giggling and whispering into thin air again.
Sometimes I wish I had pretend friends. I imagine that life would be much less complicated and lonely if I did. I would tell them all the things I’m afraid to tell anyone else and feel good about myself knowing they weren’t judging me.
Oh, who am I kidding? I DID have imaginary friends, but they stopped talking to me three years ago when they overheard my psychiatrist say they weren’t real.