I’ll never forget my older daughter’s first heartbreak. She was three and the boy of her dreams left her at the altar.
The boy in question was “Harry Potter”, her imaginary friend who’d been her constant playmate and preschool love interest for a year. One day he was just gone. She came to me in tears, looking for answers. Why didn’t Harry come to their wedding? Where was he? Why couldn’t she find him when he’d been with her for so long?
I was no better equipped to answer these questions than I will be when some real-life boyfriend breaks her heart. I don’t know how Harry Potter became her imaginary friend, or why he suddenly disappeared as quickly as he’d arrived.
She’s not alone, though. Lots of kids have interesting imaginary friends.
Babble’s done a round-up of reader stories of some of the funniest and most interesting imaginary friends kids have.
Some of their examples include a tiny motorcycle rider who can beat Daddy’s car in a race, a finicky cat who only liked to be petted by some people but not others, and an imaginary enemy.
Imaginary friends are a long and hallowed tradition of childhood. Not all kids have them, but for those who do, they’re as important as any teddy bear or blankie has ever been.
In an era when study after study is showing a decline in creativity and imaginative play among children, it’s nice to know that for some of them, imaginary friends are alive and well.
Do you remember an imaginary friend from your own childhood? Do your kids have them now?
Photo: Poi Photography