Sunday, May 9, 2010

imaginary friends are cool

Yeah, they are.

This weekend, Julia dragged me out to the very ancient, battered swing set at my in-laws. I stood in the sun in my black jacket, trying to stay warm.

And she chattered and chattered and chippered, on and on and on.

As she pushed the empty baby swing, she told me, "I have to watch this child. She's quite a troublemaker."

Wow. I can see that.

And she told me all the bad things this kid does. She's three years old, and still wears diapers, and is only this tall.

And does not listen.

Julia is not a naughty kid. She dawdles, and she has that little listening problem once in a while, but she's always been easy to live with.

But she knows naughtiness! As she told me all the bad things this kid does, my mind just spun with the seemingly infinite array of badness.

"Yeah, she is allergic to tree nuts, but whenever she sees a bowl of tree nuts, she goes, "Oh boy!" and eats as many as she can. Then she sneezes and coughs and doesn't even cover her mouth."


"Yeah, and she always wants to sleep in the middle and she kicks her dad in the face whenever he asks her to do anything. She screams to sit in the front seat of the car, wants to sit by the mother."

Whoa. I'm surprised he even wants to talk to her at this point.

"He doesn't. He's fed up."

I'll bet he is.

"Yeah. PLUS at bedtime, she pounds on a drum and toots a horn and stomps up and down, twirling her toes so nobody else can sleep."

Oh my. (twirling her toes??? i didn't ask.)

"Yes, and they had an electrical cord marked. Guys came out and put up flags to tell where it was. But then SHE went and MOVED all the flags, yanked them RIGHT out of the ground. So nobody knows where the cord is now."

Oh, that's bad. BAAD. Terrible. Jule jumped up and down in the grass in front of me. (I don't know if she was twirling her toes or not.) After a few minutes, I bent down and rolled her blonde hair around my hand and tucked it in her jacket and pulled up the hood. She gave me a kiss, and I told her Grandma was cooking hot dogs, so we should go inside.


But she's not the first kid to have an imaginary friend. No, sir.

Maria had one named Nina. Nina was amazing. I always wondered why a SIXTH child would need an imaginary friend? I mean, she was surrounded by people. I thought imaginary friends were an only-child kind of thing.

Apparently not.

When we moved Dan into the university dorm, Maria was with us, and we walked to Hardee's for lunch. A guy was sleeping under the bridge, and that scared her a little. She thought he was dead.

I told her, "No, just sleeping. He's tired. He's fine, not dead."

She frowned like she didn't believe me.

Later she told me this story: "One time Nina was walking and a dead guy rolled out from under a bridge." She paused and looked at me out of the corner of her eye, "It made her feel real shivery."


But this is the best story about Nina: Her brother was being attacked by a snake and Nina ran and saved him and KICKED that snake right in the crotch.

Yes, indeed.

Of course we all squinted at each other, wondering where a snakes crotch IS exactly... but still impressive on Nina's part.

Oh yeah. Life is very good. love, Val

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