Simone has an imaginary friend. Actually, this is not her first. Her first imaginary friend, Jumping Girl, wasn’t around for long.
(When I inquired as to her whereabouts one day, Simone replied: “Jumping Girl got MARRIED.” So.)
After that, there were no more imaginary friends for a while, until Kristin showed up. He (yes) seems to have staying power. Kristin is a constant presence, now. And as you’d expect, I’ve learned quite a bit about him.
Has 100 teeth
Is stronger than Simone
Has more bones than Simone
And do you know what KIND OF BONES Kristin is made of? Dog bones.
Kristin is NOT a dog. Kristin is a person.
Kristin is 67 years old.
He doesn’t have a car yet. He will have a car when he is 100 years old.
He loves to play in the leaves when it is fall.
While Simone can’t play in WET leaves, Kristin can, because he is older.
He can jump as high as a giant (Ed.: Whether this means as high as a giant can jump or as high as a giant is tall remains unclear)
Kristin came from a farm when he was a baby, a long time ago.
His birthday is Valentine’s Day.
Is a 67-year-old man with extra bones the imaginary companion I would choose for my daughter? Perhaps not. But Simone seems to expect us to include Kristin in our daily lives. At this very moment, she is setting a placemat for him at the table.
However. I recently left Simone to spend the night at my mother’s, and as I was departing she sent Kristin home with me, so that I wouldn’t be lonely without her. Besides, I was carrying two bags and Twyla, and he’d be an extra set of hands. “He can carry a bag for you,” Simone said, pointing.
When I spoke to her on the phone before bedtime, she asked after Kristin, and I assured her that we’d both made it home safely.
“He was a BIG help,” I enthused, “Kristin carried that bag for me all the way up the stairs!”
For a moment, there is silence at the other end of the phone. Then, slowly:
“Mom? Kristin isn’t real.”
“Kristin is pretend.”
And yet: here she comes, asking for another napkin and a set of silverware.