Imaginary Friends

“I still think most writers are just kids who refuse to grow up. We’re still playing imaginary games, with our imaginary friends.” Ian Rankin.

Did you have an imaginary friend growing up?

I’m not sure if I did. I certainly can’t remember one. I do remember exploring rock pools, building cubbies, and pretending to be pirates etc so I guess I channeled my imagination into other things? And I had a brother and a pet cocker spaniel that would be my partners in crime whenever I needed accomplices. If I had had one (an imaginary friend), I’m pretty sure it would have been a girl (because sometimes I missed having a sister) but I wonder what other characteristics she would have had?

Many imaginary friends in fiction are bad-mannered trouble-makers (Bloo from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, and Fred from Drop Dead Fred), bad influences (Tyler Durdin from Fight Club) or downright demonic (Tony in The Shining). I wouldn’t want a demon, but someone with a bit of sass, and a cool bad-ass laugh would be great (Incidentally, it was the Pastafarian ‘laugh like a baddie day’ the other day, 2nd of June).

Anyway, I hope that in an age of helicopter parenting and social media, our kids haven’t stopped making up imaginary friends.

“Children need stimulation and stability. … There are also times when children need to be left alone to learn to be independant and to encourage their imaginary friends.” Tony Buzan.

Spot on, Tony.

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