Sunday, January 11, 2009
I grew up an only child, surrounded by kids my age in the neighborhood, but never any siblings of my own. I am not sure whether it's because of this or just because I'm weird, but I invented imaginary friends for myself at a very young age. My parents jumped on board and my Mom would tell me stories every night about my imaginary friends. At first, there were just two little boys, Took and Poonah (look, I was, like 2 years old!) who were brothers and seemed to always be approximately my age at the time. A little later on came Chrissie and Sarah, who were best friends, not sisters and they lived in a tree house in a forest. Took and Poonah lived across the clearing from them. As my little world grew, so did my imaginary one. It came to include the Seven Dwarves (although not Snow White, interestingly), the Three Bears, the Smurfs and Care Bears, as well as Took and Poonah's cousins Pook and Toonah (along with their dogs, Luke, Duke and Hook). I'm not sure why my Mom and I started talking about my bedtime stories while I was home on break this past Christmas, but remembering all this stuff just cracked me up. I added an 8th dwarf, named Chocolatey (my love of chocolate began early, clearly) and I was always adding friends or scenarios. The stories my Mom told me at bedtime were as much mine as they were hers. The characters were often found in some sort of benign scenario, such as a rainstorm or something like that. Chrissie and Sarah would always come to the rescue, since they lived in a treehouse (which was essentially immune to flooding, much unlike the forest floor). Took and Poonah would use Took's Uncle's army cookbook in order to make some cookies for everyone (they always made too much). Everyone would gather at the treehouse to sleep on the floor and wait the storm out. These characters became a part of my life, much like friends and family were a part of my life. Since I was "in touch" with them every night, I felt like they were with me most of the time. It's so funny to reflect back on these stories and to think of the things I came up with. I hope before long, my Mom and I can write some of the stories down. I remember them so fondly, I would love to share them with my kids one day.