I had an imaginary friend. And her name was Emily.
I kept her so secret that when I told my mom I was going to write a post about Emily, she had no idea what I was talking about. She never even realized I had an imaginary friend. See, I am the youngest in my family, and I knew that my brother and sister would make fun of me if they knew about Emily. So I just kept her a secret. I only talked to her in my room or if I was playing outside by myself. I mostly talked to her when I would ride my bike or walk over to my friend Amy's house. Amy lived around the block, and I went to her house nearly every day to play, so Emily and I got a lot of talking in then. I don't remember our conversations, but I do remember having her with me a lot. I was a very, very shy kid, but I liked talking to her because I didn't have to feel stupid if I said something wrong.
I also named one of my dolls Emily, and she was my favorite doll. She was the kind you could take in the bathtub and pool, so she was with me a lot. She had red curly hair like Orphan Annie. She's still sitting in the closet of my parents house, and one day if I have a daughter, she will inherit my sweet Emily doll.
I have a little bit of a theory about imaginary friends, and you can go ahead and call me crazy if you want to, but I really feel like they are not necessarily friends but more of guardian angels. Someone to talk to and tell your worries to. Maybe a direct line to God. Maybe all those times I was talking to Emily, I was actually praying, and I didn't even realize it. Again, just a theory, and maybe I'm totally wrong. Either way, I'm thankful to God for creating my imagination and giving me Emily.
There comes an age in everyone's life when you stop playing dolls and you forget about your imaginary friends. But Emily is still one of my favorite names. In fact, I recently started writing a fiction novel, and Emily is the name of the main character. There's got to be some kind of psychological reasoning for that.
So thank you, Emily, for being there for me and for listening to me. Even though you were imaginary, you were the best friend I had growing up, and I thank you for sending my worries and thoughts directly to God.
Bonus: Here's a song from Lady Antebellum titled Emily. I was stuck on "e" post and this song came on. I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of Emily before.
Did you have an imaginary friend?