All we hear about is Nick. Nick this and Nick that. Nick is the coolest kid at preschool. Nick has this toy. Nick has that shirt. Nick is who he plays with every day. Nick’s mom’s name is also Lisa. Guess what Nick’s dad’s name is? Nick was consulted for the answer to a question at bedtime this evening.
Nick is my 4 year old son’s imaginary friend. I’m not kidding. I’ve heard of this phenomenon mostly from television shows and movies yet I’m quite astonished that it’s affecting my own family. Now, don’t get me wrong with my use of the word “affecting.” It’s not a problem…yet. At this point, it’s quite cute.
Every day when I pick up The Boy from preschool, he runs into my arms for a great big momma bear hug and I’ll kiss his dirty little face as I ask him, “what did you do that was fun today Bubba?”
“I played with Nick.”
For the longest time, I genuinely thought there was another little boy in his class or at least at his school that was named Nick. His other best buds, he talks about them all time too, but the difference is, I’ve laid eyes on Logan and Matthew and Sammy. But never Nick.
I asked The Girl, “who’s Nick?” She’s an alumni of the preschool and still goes back to visit on public school holidays from time to time so she’s always up to date on the “happenings” of the 4 year old class. “I dunno, Momma,” is her reply. “I’ve never met Nick before.”
Finally, after my suspicions were starting to get the better of me, I asked the owner/director of the preschool, “Who’s Nick?”
“I have no idea. There’s no Nick that goes to this school.”
Great. Just great. I knew for a fact that there’s no Nick in any of his classes or groups from church. There’s a Nathan and a Jacob. But no Nick.
Tonight for the very first time, I witnessed The Boy “talking” to Nick. It was a moment of “OH MY GOODNESS” for me. We had just finished reading a bed time story and were wrapping up some quality snuggle time in the bottom bunk of the double decker he shares with his sister.
As we lay there cuddling, he’s always quick to say something positive about his day. Usually it’s a recollection of a significant occurrence in his day. “I had fun at gymnastics tonight,” or “I had fun at the pool today” are comments that he makes quite frequently. But tonight it was, “I had fun playing with Nick today.” Hmmmm….
“Nick just had a birfday. He toorned 4 too.” The Boy informed me. (The Boy’s 4th birthday was two weeks ago)
I decided to probe a little bit. “What’s Nick’s momma’s name?” All the kids at school NEVER know the parent’s names. I swear I’ve worn name tags that simply read, “[The Boys'] Mom.” It’s an accepted fact.
“His Momma’s Lisa.”
“Oh really? His Momma’s got the same name that I do?” I asked incredibly. “Yup.” The Boy confirmed.
“What’s his Daddy’s name?” I already knew the answer that The Boy would give, before the question was even asked. But what I wasn’t ready for was to witness The Boy turn his head and softly, yet quickly, whisper, “what’s your Daddy’s name?” to his imaginary friend.
I’m not so much concerned at this point as I am amused. Even The Girl gets a huge kick out of it. We’ll see how it goes and monitor this “relationship” he has with Nick. I’ll do a little research on imaginary friends and see how other parents have handled it in the past. I don’t want to do anything to discount this friendship, no matter how imaginary it is to me, it’s very real to The Boy. And it still just makes me giggle…