Son has an imaginary friend.
His name is Andrew.
I first learned of him when Son asked, “Mom, can Andrew come over for a play date?”
Son was riding around the upstairs hallway on a beat up red and blue plastic ride-on thing designed for a two year old. His five year old knees were closing in on his ears but that didn’t crimp his travels.
Blank look from me.
“You don’t know an Andrew.”
Son raised his arm and gestured across the empty space beside him.
“It’s pretend,” he said in an exaggerated whisper.
I nodded. “Sure, he can come over.”
I wasn’t really paying attention as they journeyed throughout the house enacting the school bus route, sporting events and maybe a train ride. Son talked up a storm and it was definitely quieter than had a real, live playmate been over.
A few days later Son asked again, “Mom, can Andrew come over?”
This time I was in the know.
Later Son came into the kitchen. “Mom, can Andrew stay for dinner?”
“Not on a weeknight, honey,” I was so good at this, I used real rules.
“His Mom already said it’s okay.”
He looked at me with quiet confidence that:
- They’d already figured this out together and
- It’s just pretend, Mom, so come on!
“Okay. Does he want sauce or butter on his pasta?”
He checked with Andrew.
“Sauce and butter.”
“How about you? What do you want?”
“Sauce and butter.”
I turned back to the stove and poured spaghetti into the boiling water. A little while later Son came back through the kitchen.
“It’s almost time for dinner,” I told him.
“That’s okay,” he said. “Andrew and I are married now.”
“To girls? Or to each other?”
“To each other. You said it’s okay for boys to marry boys in this country.”
I did? When?
I racked my brain. That sounded like something I might say but I didn’t recall having had that conversation yet.
“Look, we have rings.”
Son held up his hand for me to see a wine charm looped around one of his fingers. He must have pilfered it from the buffet. Beads and a little blue fish dangled with delight at the happy coupling.
“Well come on,” I said to Daughter. “Let’s get married.”
We processed into the family room where I held a mock ceremony and pronounced us “Wife and Wife.” (A la Ellen and Portia on Oprah.)
Now that’s entertainment.