Friday, September 16, 2011

Imaginary Friends

Every morning, Raphaela and I go through the list of all the children in her Gan class, the kids with whom she will play that day.  For the past few days, she has mentioned a "Carmi", and I know for a fact that there is no child with that name in her Gan, not even with a name that sounds similar.  I double checked with her nursery teacher.  Raphaela continues to say this name with assurance and clarity.

This morning, when I asked her about Carmi, she simply smiled.  I believe we have a candidate for Raphaela's first imaginary friend.

Having exercised my imagination as a child, I am all in favor of imaginary friends, and in fact have my own theory about the phenomenon.  I have read that animals and young children have a higher psychic sensitivity, and when the talk to their imaginary friends, they are in fact interacting with spirits or angels, beings that we as adult with filters can no longer see.  I actually hope that Raphaela holds onto that openness to the Universe, as long as she can.

When I was studying in Chiropractic school, I spent most weekends and Jewish holidays with a certain cousin and her family.  Her then three year old boy had nightmares and difficulty sleeping, claiming that he was being terrorized by a "scary black dog" running down the hallway.  At first, my cousin took a step back, hoping that the fear was a phase.  I suggested to her that she treat this image of a scary dog as if her son were seeing and hearing it, that they believe him that this being was scaring him at night, as if it were a reality.  She took my advice and soon after, the black dog "got runned over by a car" and never bothered him again.

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