By Tracy Winslow from Momaical
Emmeline and I are in the backyard gardening. The weather is cooling and it is incredibly enjoyable to be outside. I am transplanting all of my beautiful succulents so that they can grow and multiply through the winter. Emmeline has chosen a ton of “pity fowers to pwant” (chrysanthemums) into her tiny pots. We have our “gubs” on and are chatting about two-year-old conundrums like “how you get pokey pwants out dat pot?” while I transplant cacti. Suddenly she says “Oh! Hi!” I answer her, “Hello there, lady!” She says “Not you, Mommy. Dat guy dat bizits.”
That guy that visits? Holy. Shit. What guy? We are home alone. I do the crazy Mama bear protective jump in front of my daughter and put my arms out ready to grab her and run from an attacker. My eyes dart around the perimeter of the yard; we are alone. My heart is racing and I am trying to keep my fight-or-flight adrenaline in check. “Where did you see the guy honey?” “Siwwy Mommy! Da guy is wite hewe!” She holds her hand out next to her, pointing at empty space.
Ohhhhhhh. She has an invisible friend! “Him is me fwend and he is hewpin me pwant!”
“That’s great honey!” I return to my pile of dirt. Her words roll around in my mind while I put tiny buds into spice jars. I think it’s interesting because she says her “friend” is a guy. Usually when she plays babies they are girls. Her stuffed animals are girls. Plants are girls. Pretty much everything except for Daddy is female in her world. We are swimming in a sea of estrogen in this house.
Both my girls have great imaginations too and I love to watch their brains in action. So I tend to ask them multi-faceted questions that require them to dig a little deeper than a holophrastic “yes” or “no” response.
“Is your friend still here Emmeline?”
“Yeah, him is.”
“What does he look like?”
She begins to describe him: “Him is taw. Him has gasses. Him has a haiwy face. Him is me fwend. ”
I slowly turn and stare at her. The temperature drops noticibly. She is describing someone dear to us that was taken way too early in life. Someone she unfortunately never met, because he has been gone for several years now. I don’t want her to stop talking. I want to hear all about her friend. But, I know if I ask too many questions, she will clam up. So I say “Well, then you’re really lucky to have him as a friend. He’s a great guy. I wish I could hang out with him too.”
What if “imaginary friends” aren’t really made up? What if they’re heaven sent angels checking in? Why don’t I see him – maybe this exchange is not meant to be seen by my eyes? Only witnessed through the minds of those who have not been jaded to this whole concept?
I am a voyeur to the tête-à-tête. “Yeah me are two. Eena is five. Me are big. Me hab a big giw kibby. Dis is me baby. Her name is Yemonade. Do you yike me fowers?” After a few minutes, she is done planting and she stops talking.
“Everything ok, baby?”
“Yup! Me fowers is done. Me fwend hada go bye-bye.”
“Well, your flowers look fantastic!”
Could it be she has a fabulous imagination? Absolutely. But, it’s really comforting to think that once a loved one passes that they still come to check on you. I like thinking that loved ones no longer in corporeal form still visit to get to know your babies and help them plant flowers. And, now every time I see these flowers, I will smile in memory of our loved one and my daughter’s new “fwend”.
Tracy Winslow is a mother of two young girls who should be lawyers or criminal masterminds. When she’s not crying in her coffee about her stretch marks she can be found pretending she knows how to do yoga. Live vicariously through her craziness at www.momaical.com, and please follow her on FB and Twitter @Momaical. Touched by an Angel was originally posted on Momaical and is reprinted here with permission.