Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pretend Friends

My oldest daughter recently informed me that she has a pretend friend.

It made me think of the pretend friends I had when I was little (a ghost and a witch...now that's a story for another time). The girl friend was named Laura (most likely because I loved Laura from The Little House on the Prairie) and the boy, well his name is a little more interesting. I named him Gin Gin (yes, spelled that way in my mind). How very...well...how very telling.

Mom, if you are reading this, I wonder if his name had anything to do with those wild parties you and Dad hosted while we lived in Germany? What wild parties, you say? Two words for you...Human Pyramids!

Anyway, Laura and Gin Gin trailed behind me and gathered beside me at my every request. I had three older sisters and was hardly bored or rarely found myself alone, but I think my pretend friends were something just for me. I also suspect with my overactive imagination in those tender elementary years I couldn't help but create Laura and Gin Gin.

Sometimes I wonder if the characters in my books are my present day "pretend friends." I know...I know...a little sappy (and a little scary if you don't know me well enough to know that I'm only slightly mentally askew--or to know that I'm joking now).

What I'm getting at is that I think all of us, no matter what stage of life we are in, need to find something "just for us." We all need to find our place in this world and in the process of doing so we could potentially create figments of our imagination to fill that special need. *Caution: I am not referring to any form of mental illness here...just wanted to make that perfectly clear before I continue...What I am referring to has more to do with being a writer and well...let's say...facebook. I'm willing to guess there are hundreds of facebook friends that fall more into the category of pretend friend than real friend for some.

When Brooke told me the name of her pretend friend I was moved. She named her Water. And in true Brooke fashion, she explained the purpose of her friend. They are alike in that both of their names quite simply are forms of...water. I wonder what her pretend friend Water looks like in her mind. I wonder if it helps her feel less alone in the world and more like she can identify with someone/something.

I wonder if Brooke will be a writer someday?

Give your friends and pretend friends a hug today :)

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