When we moved to Phoenix, my daughter decided to adopt some imaginary friends. These friends would follow us everywhere. There were two of them and my daughter was their spokesperson. If she got a bath, they got one too. If I fed her cheese pizza, I would have to feed them too. Everything I did for her, I did for them too. After the third month of my two other “children”, I started to get a little worried.
I asked my husband, “Is this normal behavior? These imaginary friends are everywhere. I want her to make some real friends.” He assured me that she was trying to cope with all of the changes the move entailed and her imaginary friends gave her comfort. He convinced me it was a phase and once she started school, she would talk about her classmates at school.
He was right. From the moment she started her new school, she dropped one of her imaginary friends. I asked her where she went and she told me, that she went home to her mommy. Slowly, the other friend didn’t need a bath or cheese pizza anymore. Her days were filled with playing tea time with her real friends, learning her alphabet, and collecting sparkles on the playground. When she came home, she talked about her first ever best friend, Rachel and how they both like the same princess. When we got ready for school in the morning, it wasn’t a struggle, she readily got up, got dressed, and raced to the door.
On her last day of school, I thought about how far we had come. The imaginary friends are buried. There are real friends to captivate her thoughts. I don’t have the heart to tell her that some of friends are going to other schools and her best friend Rachel is too. She will have new teachers and other classmates.
She will have to transition again. This is life. And sometimes we need to call on the imaginary to push us forward.
Oh Rudri – what a beautifully written post, I honestly absolutely loved this. As you know I am living with my daughter’s imaginary friends but hers are just additional to the little friends she already has. For your daughter to create these friends who saw her through a difficult transition, friends who once their job was done went home to their Mommies shows great ingenuity and courage on her part.
I just love your last line, words for us all to remember
I think that Aging Mommy knows quite a bit about imaginary friends. ; )
This is really touching. There’s sweetness in her imaginary but helpful friends, her transition to comfort in a new environment and excitement about new friends, and in your knowing that in some ways she’ll relive it next year. I think you’ve achieved a wise perspective on this…I call on the imaginary all the time.
Not surprisingly, I love so much about this post. Not least of which is that her BFFs name is Rachel. And it’s so good to learn those friendmaking skills early.. she’ll adjust, as you say. And isn’t it so sweet how well the kiddies take care of their imaginary friends? I kind of adore it..
There is something nice about the concept of imaginary friends to help us through tough times.
Transition can be difficult but remember that resiliency is the key here. You want your daughter to learn how to take care of her own needs. Creating imaginary friends was one way.
Next year, she will make more friends. And perhaps learn how to keep in contact with her ‘old’ friends.
I love how you capture so much with so little…great post! I look forward to the imaginary friends of my little girl, especially since they’ll be little more low maintenance than her someday real friends. 🙂
Your little girl has come a long way. Transitions are so difficult for everyone but children seem to have a harder time with them. Leaving behind her imaginary friends shows just how far she has come with all the new changes in her life. I also think it shows how in tune you and your husband were with her. Kudos to you two as well!
I think it’s really sweet. And so glad she made new friends – as she will, again and again and again.
Waht a lovely post, Rudri. And this line: “And sometimes we need to call on the imaginary to push us forward”, poignant.
Such great parents you both are! My youngest still has an imaginary brother (even though he already has a ‘real’ brother and sister). Brant gets blamed for lots of mischief and still sleeps on a little blanket next to his bed.
Oh how much imaginary friends provide comfort! And they move with us! Gotta love ’em.
Wonderful words, appreciating transitions, anticipating transitions. Planted in today.
She’ll have to transition again and again, but how comforting to know that she has creativity and strength to draw on as she forges her path! 🙂
The ways our minds, particularly those of children, adapt and cope with change are just extraordinary. Here’s to many more slices of cheese pizza shared with friends, real and imaginary, in the school years to come!
So sweet. And it made my heart break a little. But children are incredibly resilient. There will be many new best friends and happy experiences in the coming years.
Our children are amazing creatures, their ability to adapt and cope to situations in ways that work for them is truly inspiring. I had an imaginary friend for years, someone who just listened when I talked. We’d go for walks and I would chat on and on. Sometimes I miss her.
Emilia has had three different imaginary friends, but two of them are long gone, and she has told me that she doesn’t want to talk about them anymore. Quite seriously she tells me this.
Such a beautiful post. Such love and beauty that you are able to capture these moments and record them.
That was beautiful, Rudri, and I completely relate to it. My daughter struggles with change as well, and her last day of pre school is next week. Thank you for this reminder that I’ll need to extend extra grace towards her as we gear up for the big changes of Kindergarten.
So cute 🙂
She is precious!!