Inception: Pink World
Today is our last day of the Christmas holidays break from school. We took three weeks’ vacation. Because we can do that.*
I have a number of errands to do today, and was intending on doing them this morning… but knowing this is our last slow day for weeks to come, I’ve been dragging my feet. Or, rather, dragging my rear end, which stayed planted in the loveseat for several hours. My favorite part: Snugging. Various children come and go, dropping in for a cuddle and a chat. We’re covered in blankets because it’s cold (even in the Phoenix area) and we’re cheap, so the heat is set at 67°, which is actually two degrees warmer than last year.
My six-year-old, Audrey, stopped by. She proceeded to tell me about a girl from SuperChurch** who looks just like her. I was surprised, as I am at least acquainted with most of the children who are regulars, as I lead worship in there, 2-3 times per month. “Yeah,” Audrey continued. “And her name is even Audrey!”
I went immediately from serious interest to skepticism laced with humor. “Really?? She looks just like you and her name is Audrey?? Let me guess. Her name is Audrey Sophia [our last name].”
“Oh, no,” Audrey disagreed emphatically. “Her name is Audrey Sophia Doe.”
“Doe” is the suffix Audrey invented before she was two, meaning “this is someone I really love.” “Daddy-Doe” was the inaugural “Doe.” ‘Doe’ became a good indication of how Audrey was feeling about someone, and it was quite the honor for a non-family-member to be christened a ‘Doe’. We still call Audrey, “Audrey-Doe,” frequently. Or just ‘Doe’. Or, as I often call her, “Rosy-Toesy-Cozy-Doezy.”
It’s one of those family things…
With her insisting that the other Audrey who looked like her had the “actual” last name of “Doe,” my suspicions were confirmed: Her imagination was in full swing.
I’m all for imagination, and Audrey’s is the most active amongst my children. Since before she could really talk, she has had an imaginary friend, Rabbiana (“ra-bee-AH-nah”). Rabbiana started as the girl in the mirror; Audrey’s reflection. Aud named this other girl well before she understood that the reflection was her own self. She seemed to honestly think that there was, indeed, an entire land in addition to our own, held in the mirror. Over the years, her imaginary world has broken through the boundary of being limited to the Mirror World; Rabbiana’s world is typically found on the rooftop of our own house and is quite detailed. Rabbiana has an entire family — the key member of whom is Rabbiana’s brother, Loy. Other family members, friends, and pets come and go in this imaginary place. Also, most everything is pink there, named — unsurprisingly — Pink World.
I have pushed countless apparently-empty swings at the park for Rabbiana, while Audrey gushes second-hand thankfulness…
“Audrey Sophia DOE??” I repeated. “It sounds to me like this other Audrey who looks just like you is one of your imaginary friends.”
Audrey was indignant. “She’s not MY imaginary friend.”
In case you’ve lost track of the layers, that means that the other Audrey is actually the real Audrey’s imaginary friend’s brother’s imaginary friend.
I told Audrey (the real one) that she had a future ahead of her as a Hollywood script-writer.
*Of course, this just means we add an additional week to the end of the school year… Except in Arizona, they recently lifted the requirement of 35 weeks per school year. “You can be done when you feel like you’re done for the year,” the Maricopa County homeschool liaison told me, a few years ago… I still officially stick with 35 weeks, but last year, I was DONE after the second week of June, which made 34 weeks.
**This is the Sunday school at our church for children ages 6-12.