When I was five years old, I became Catwoman. I knew she was the evil villian, but, hey, I really liked cats and the alternative was a nasty bat. No proud kindergarten beauty would settle for an ugly stingy winged creature. Except my gorgeous friend Carla Wallingford. She played Batwoman and tried earnestly to stop my evil feline deeds after kindergarten let out. I distinctly remember her throwing a sheet over me like a net and laughing maniacally, "I've got you now, Catwoman. You won't be stealing diamonds from the museum again!"
Another hot summer day when I was nine, I stuffed a long sock to dangle from the back of my hip hugger jeans, slapped on a cowgirl hat and boots, pulled over a red shirt, and bound my neck with red bandana. Why? I had magically become a horse. I began to gallop everywhere. I whinied randomly and tossed my thick long mane of hair throughout the day. When the sun came up the next day, I donned the same smashing attire and equestrian attitude. I didn't speak about it to anyone, but I hoped someone, anyone would notice my flowing tail and sparkly horse eyes. No one did.
With such powers of imagination, I do not remember finding any imaginary friends. I took many long walks and bikerides alone, but I never invited any fancied playmates along.
This is not the case with my five year old daughter, Pooh Bear. Aircorn (I realize this is an extremely odd name) and Sally are a very real part of her whimsical life. In fact, these illusionary girls are the sisters Pooh longs to have. Sally often messes up Pooh Bear's room and runs into the woods. What a sneak! Sally looks just like Snow White and works at miniature Wendy's making her especially hard to notice. Aircorn is a teenager, drives a pink car which had been assimilated by the Borg, but is now back safe and sound on earth to ferry Aircorn to high school. In fact, she lives at high school instead of with our family. For the life of me, I can't figure out where I went wrong as a mother with Aircorn to feel so very distant from my own offspring. It's like I don't know her at all. Sometimes when I question Pooh Bear, "Where's Aircorn today?" my real little girl states, "She's at Libby Lu (that fantastic store at the mall which caters to the inner princess), but you just can't see her. She works there." I wonder how Aircorn picks up her paycheck or is that invisible too? I've spoken to both Sally and Aircorn on the pretend Sleeping Beauty cellphone. Neither are much for conversation leaving me to do all the talking.
Can you remember an imaginary friend? Can you remember any specific details? Does a growing child suddenly wake up one day to find their fancied friend is nonexistent? How does one lose an imaginary friend afterall? Or do people secretly hold on to them and stop mentioning them after the age of ten?
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