I first met my son Ben’s new friend two years ago. His name is So-So. We all like him very much. He’s imaginary. No, excuse me, he’s INVISIBLE, not imaginary. I’ve been corrected a million times. I should have that straight. So-So is a ghost and he became my son’s friend shortly after Halloween when Ben came downstairs and asked for breakfast for the both of them.
“This is So-So, he loves oatmeal, just like me,” he said as he pulled up a chair for him. I let So-So know right away that I’m the kind of mom who indulges her son’s creative side. “Hello, So-So,” I said as I bent down to shake his ghost hand, “I’m Mommy. Would you like some oatmeal?” Ben assured me he did.
Hmmm, invisible friend = invisible oatmeal. That was my thinking at least.
“There ‘ya go So-So,” I said as I set down a fresh bowl of pretend oatmeal. “Mommy! He wants real oatmeal!” Ben protested. “He’s REAL!” So fine, I made So-So some oatmeal. Ben secretly ate out of both bowls, then declared they were both full and they headed upstairs to play in Ben’s closet. (That’s where ghosts like to play best.)
“I wonder how long I’m going to have to keep this up?” I thought to myself as I polished off the remaining oatmeal from the bowls. Since then So-So’s brother, Knock-Knock, has moved it, he’s gotten married, he’s had 101 kids, he’s worked as head ghost at The Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, only to be fired for being “too scary.” He’s gotten in trouble more than once for playing “Back in Black” by his favorite band, AC/DC. So-So has gone on vacation with us, hanging on tightly to the luggage rack as we’ve driven to Solvang, Arizona and Nevada.
Our whole family has come to love So-So. But, last week Ben, who’s now six, asked if we could have a private talk. So standing in Ben’s closet, with the door shu
t tightly like a makeshift confessional, Ben said to me in a whispered voice, “So-So isn’t real mom. I just made him up.” I could tell he felt relieved finally getting it out.
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