Sometime shortly after Josiah was born this summer, Lucy introduced me to her imaginary friend "Amy" and insisted that she come everywhere with us. That was perfectly fine with me, because Amy seemed fairly well-behaved, could sit anywhere in the car that she wanted, and didn't require me to feed her. She helped keep Lucy busy on the playground and played follow-the-leader and gave her someone to talk to while I was nursing or changing diapers in another room.
Then "Ama" (pronounced AH-muh) appeared on the scene. Suddenly Amy and Ama were inseparable, argued with each other and with Lucy, and required me to hold at least one of their hands when walking through a parking lot. I put a stop to that pretty quickly and told Lucy that Amy and Ama would have to hold each others hands and get along or they would have to stay home. That seemed to work.
When I was much (much) younger I remember having an imaginary friend who I would talk to
when no one else was around. As the youngest child I think I was exercising my right to be bossy. My neighbor had a younger brother, and I vaguely remember pretending my imaginary friend was a little sister. But I don't ever remember 'introducing' her to other people. She was my private friend.
Now that Joey is seven months old, we are seeing less of Amy and Ama, but they still show up on occasion. Sometimes their presence is quite helpful, like when I suggest Lucy go and play with them in her room or teach them a new game--it keeps her busy when I'm unable to be her playmate.
My favorite line from a recent lunchtime at the table with Lucy: "Mommy, it's quiet in here. It's just you and me and Joey... and Amy and Ama."
I can't help but smile.
1 month ago