Children are innocent, fresh from the presence of our Heavenly Father, and because so, they can see things we adults cannot.
Doctors, Psychologist and parents refer to them as, “imaginary friends” that are made up in the mind of the child. The question is, are these in fact, imaginary?
When my daughter was two and a half years old, my wife at the time was pregnant with our second child. We did what all parent’s did at that time and explained to young daughter that mommy had a baby inside her tummy and soon there would be a baby brother or sister. Sadly, a few months later, my wife miscarried and the baby was lost.
A couple of days after our heartbreak, I was mowing the lawn in our backyard when my wife called out to me to come inside the house. I stopped the mower and went inside to see what she wanted. When I stepped inside, I saw tears in her eyes. She told me that when she came into the kitchen, our daughter was standing at the back sliding glass door watching me and smiling. She said, “Tell daddy what you were doing” and with that sweet little voice she said, “I was watching my little brother help you mow the lawn daddy “.
I am not exactly sure, when my daughter started having imaginary friends, but it seems from a very young age she always talked and played with something or someone, I could not see.
At one point when she was about three and half years old, she would read, play and talk with these friends, who even had names, so much every day, we decided to take her to the Doctor and ask about it.
The Doctor told us that this is very common in young children to have make-believe friends and that it suggested that children who have one or two imaginary friends had superior intellect. My daughter, over hearing this, turned to the Doctor and said, “I have a hundred imaginary friends“. Superior intellect, you had better believe it.
We decided to leave her alone about her imaginary friends because whatever was going on or whomever she was playing with, we saw no harm in it because she was having a good time and learning. At times we even sat down and all played together. At the dinner table, we would sometimes ask if any of her friends were hungry and would like to eat something and sometimes she would have to get up from the table and run to her room and ask.
We hardly made a big deal about it and thought we would just let it run its course.
The sparkly people
Between the ages of four to five plus years old, my daughter would often giggle and laugh when she would lie in bed trying to get to sleep.
One night while reading a bedtime story to her, she began to laugh, wave and reach out in front of her as if she was playing a game. I asked her what she was doing and her reply was, “I’m playing with the sparkly people”. I asked her what she meant, and all she could tell me was that they were sparkly. I asked if she was seeing little bits of dust particles or a piece of fuzz floating around in the air and she would say, no, the sparkly people.
The most unforgettable moment that I will never forget, was the time my little daughter, close to five years old, was lying in bed after her story and a kiss goodnight from me. As I was walking out of her room, she started to giggle. When I turned to see what was going on, I saw her holding both hands, clasped together, under her chin and she had a big smile on her face. I asked her what she was doing and she replied by saying,“Heavenly Father is winking at me”.
There are many theories, justifications and beliefs as to why children have imaginary friends or see sparkly people or other things and adults cannot.
Regardless as to your beliefs, the truth is that somewhere along the way, our children learn or get told these things do not exist, that they are nonsense and are not real. As innocent as a child is, they believe what they hear and soon, cease to see such wonderful things.
My daughter is nearly eleven years old now, and I asked her today if she could remember any of her imaginary friends, the sparkly people or even the wink from Heavenly Father, she just smiled, look down and said, “oh daddy, I wish I could”.
Article also posted on Triond by Scott Hallock