I don’t remember having imaginary friends when I was a kid. It’s fascinating to hear my daughter describe my grandson’s. The more she tells me about his little make-believe kingdom, the more I can see parallels to my own little cyber-world.
- grandson has real friends
- Grandmother has actual friends
- grandson has invisible friends
- Grandmother has virtual visitors
- grandson spends too much time playing make-believe
- Grandmother spends too much time on computer
- grandson is the hero in his kingdom
- Grandmother is the hero in her blogging stories
- grandson controls the moves and actions of his armies
- Grandmother controls which words go out and when
Now, my grandson would never substitute his real friends for his imaginary ones, and neither would I. Actual friends obviously have it all over the virtual ones. It’s good to share coffee, hugs, tears, meals, music, baseball cards, laughter and life with people who have “skin on”.
But our virtual friends have their good qualities too:
- They visit, but never stay too long
- They allow us to spill out the drama of our lives, and never interrupt
- They check our like button *
- They can be taken out and put away whenever we want
- They believe all of our stories
- They take us to their imaginary worlds
- They are available 24/7
- They don’t care if we stretch the truth
- They encourage us to keep playing
- They like us *
- They let us be whomever we want
It’s a grand thing to understand this shared passion of fantasy with my brilliant, imaginative, inquisitive, creative, grandson.
I may not have understood the wonder of this kind of world when I was a child or when I was in my adult phase of life; “Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” (Bob Dylan)
* Like box refers to grandmother’s virtual visitors, not grandson’s imaginary friends. Button Located Below.