So if you are my friend on Facebook, then you already know what today's post is about. My kids freaked me out last night -- I mean REALLY freaked me out. It all started when the 2 youngest refused to go to sleep. After going in there and telling them to knock it off about elevendy times, I was peeking around the corner at them and realized that they were not, as I had so naively assumed, laughing and talking with each other. No, of course not. See, THAT would be normal, and nothing is ever normal in our house. They were laughing at and talking with someone...or some THING, that I could not see or hear. Little kids have pretend playmates all the time, it is perfectly normal and healthy and it piqued my interest to see where this was going.
So I stood there and listened for a few minutes.
This is apparently a shared experience that they are having. They are seeing and hearing the same thing. Well, they're 3 & 4, so there's a lot of giggling. But the gist seems to be that they're being entertained by this....whatever. I heard "Do that again!" followed by squeals of delight, and several "I don't know" and "yes/no" answers to unheard questions. If it weren't a SHARED experience, I don't think I would have cared. But they BOTH seem to be seeing/hearing the same thing....and I couldn't see or hear anything. Could 2 very different kids share an imaginary friends? Was that even possible?
All of my kids have done this at some point. They had imaginary play dates with "people" who weren't there, but never TWO of them at the same time! (Actually, I'm not sure if Bella ever did....) William had an "imaginary" friend who he called "Powder" when he was younger. He used to offer Powder food from his plate and talk to him when he was alone in his room, and while it was a little disconcerting, I let it go. I had no reason to believe that it was anything weird other than an imaginary friend. But he was the only one who saw him. Now both my kids were talking to someone (or something) that I could not see, at the same time. And it seemed that this....whatever....was talking back. The freak out was starting.
So I did what anyone else would do. I went and got on Facebook and asked everyone what they thought. Most of my friends had similar stories of their kids talking to imaginary friends, passed relatives, and the like. I was told repeatedly to let it go, that it was normal, and that they'd outgrow it. Normal. That had been what I had hoped to hear. It was normal. There was nothing disturbing about a 3 and 4 year old child carrying on a three-way conversation with some unseen entity. I am simply doing what I always do -- letting my imagination run away with me. That cough when William was an infant that I was convinced was TB was allergies, the rash Bella had at two that I was certain was a result of some toxin she'd been exposed to cleared up on its own before I could even get to the doctor with her -- I have a long history of letting MY imagination run away with me and imagining the absolute worst scenarios. This was normal childhood imaginative play. This was not some kind of toddler schizophrenia. But it was still bugging me. I went back into their room, half out of curiosity and half because it was super late and they really did need to go to sleep, and I asked them who they were talking to. They both looked at me and in unison said "Powder." Whoa.
To my recollection (or my husband's, because I asked) we have never discussed Powder with the kids. It was one of those things we just didn't make a big deal about with them, thinking that the less attention that we gave it then the quicker it would go away. Well, apparently he/she/it is back. This morning before school, I asked the older ones if they remembered Powder. Bella said "Kinda" and William said "You mean the kind of invisible guy that used to live with us in Georgia?" (Gulp) Yeah, that's the one. I asked him if he'd ever told his brother and sister about Powder and he said no, that he didn't think so. I was really hoping that he had....and recently, which would have explained his reappearance last night.
This is a new problem. This isn't a mess that is easily cleaned up. Whoever or whatever Powder is, my kids like him/it. Were we talking ghost? Angel?! Demon??! Or had my 3 and 4 year old somehow heard the story about Powder and were using it in their own little game? Or to freak their momma out? I didn't know. I have a pretty open mind when it comes to the supernatural. I believe in angels and demons. I also believe that traumatic events can leave "echos" in certain places that are not really ghosts. And I think I can accept malicious ghosts -- I believe that the righteous go to heaven at death, so I have difficulty believing in a "good" or a "friendly" ghost. I have a hard time accepting that the God I know would allow a soul bound for the eternal glory of heaven to be "trapped" on Earth. I don't know if He gives out weekend passes, but I was unwilling to take the chance with my kids. If this was a supernatural problem, then I only had one course of action.
So laugh if you must, but I mustered my faith and prayed over my kids and their rooms early this morning before they woke up. I asked God to protect them and watch over them. If this was a demon or a ghost, I want it out of my house. If it wasn't then my prayer would have no effect on whatever it was. This was a real situation where praying was all I could do. I know that not all of my readers have faith. I know that a lot of my readers will think that my prayer solution was silly, unnecessary, and/or pointless because they don't believe in God, or they don't believe that this was anything more than 2 kids flexing their imaginations. I hope that my kids' imaginations are that awesome. I hope that some specter has not followed my family from Georgia to Texas and haunts my kids. But I know that God will protect them if there is anything threatening from Powder.
This morning when Lorelei and Jackson woke up, I asked them about Powder and their visit with him last night. Neither one of them seemed to know what I was talking about. I do not know if this was the power of prayer, if they're playing with me, or if they will remember him/it later. And even if the prayer did nothing for the kids, it made me feel better. Hopefully we won't be seeing Powder anymore. Time will tell.