When I asked my almost 3 year old. to sing me a song in the car, he told me that he would, but he could only sing one because he was pretty busy. “I have to pick up a jumparoo for Sissy’s baby sister at 9 o’clock, so I’m pretty busy right now.” I didn’t know Sissy had a baby sister! I didn’t even know Sissy up until a month ago.
Sissy is my son’s best friend these days, and she does some crazy stuff! Especially when he can’t fall asleep at nap time. Earlier this week, “Mommy! I want to tell you the crazy thing Sissy did! She climbed down the side of my crib and jumped into the wall and went all the way down her new porch stairs and into the street and into her house and into her own bed without scooting or waking up at all!!” One week before, on an especially raucous no-nap day, he shouted with glee, “Hey mommy! We’re having a birthday party, will you join us and sing happy birthday?”
Yesterday I learned that Sissy has a mom named Tessie. Tessie hung out with my son in his crib yesterday when he couldn’t nap and Sissy had ridden her bicycle home all by herself. I learned that Sissy’s baby sister’s name is Ter-hion. When I was holding his real baby sister, my son was holding Sissy’s baby sister, though he decided to put her in the stroller because he couldn’t catch a ball and hold her at the same time. I should also point out that even though she loves her, Sissy isn’t always so nice to her baby sister. Over the weekend my son told me, “Sissy is in time out for biting her baby sister, Mommy.”
I asked him today what it was like playing with Sissy. He said it was fun and comfortable. I asked him where Sissy was, and he said like I should have known, “She’s in the crib! Can you take her out?”
I’m thinking he and all his fellow imagination filled toddlers are onto something here. An imaginary friend can be anyone you want him or her to be. This person can be your very own special friend. She can do all sorts of stuff. And she can do stuff for you so you don’t have to do it yourself. “Sissy, can you go to the gym for me?” “Sissy, I thought you were going to clean up the kitchen? You were flying like a bird out the window and high high into the clouds?” Ooh! That sounds like much more fun. Makes me feel better too, just imagining it.
I’ve often read that we need to love ourselves, accept ourselves, be kinder and more patient. I’m thinking Sissy and all her imaginary comrades could teach us this by being the equanimous, unconditional, open-minded friends they naturally are. I’m going to give it a shot. Intent community, please meet….Sophie. She’s new here.