When I was a little girl, I had an imaginary friend. It’s not that I was terribly lonely and had no real friends to play with. But, real play dates weren’t always possible and for eight years (until my sister Erin came along) I lived in a household with four brothers. So, it was nice to have a playmate of my very own who was there anytime I summoned her, someone who didn’t tease and torment me as brothers tend to do, someone who was always willing to play what I wanted to play – things that didn’t include Tonka trucks, GI Joes, or building blocks. My imaginary friend provided a much-needed escape from a household full of boys.
As I got older and had more freedom to roam, my imaginary friend disappeared and was replaced by a group of real friends and a lot of real activities. During my teenage years, I even began to hang out with my brothers and had several friends and activities in common with them.
Now that I’m much older, I sometimes wish I had an imaginary friend again. I think now, she would be more like a guardian angel; someone who is always there when I need her; someone who knows me better than anyone else does; someone with whom I can share my deepest, darkest secrets, wishes and dreams; someone who just knows without me having to say anything at all.
Maybe it’s a crazy idea, but it’s somewhat comforting to think about having a guardian angel to support and protect me throughout my old age. In The Angels Little Instruction Book, author Eileen Elias Freeman said that “Children often have imaginary playmates. I suspect that half of them are really their guardian angels.”
I guess it’s taken me 45 years to remember something I knew as a child. Funny how that works, huh?