Javier, Freiken, Shishi, and I

“Mami, Freiken invited me to his birthday and it is going to be in the park with a Brinca-brinca.” Javier says energetically interrupting the sudden silence that filled the car upon dropping off Jaimito and Olaia in school.
“OK Javier, that sounds nice. But where does Freiken live?” I ask.
“He lives far away Mami.” he answers without hesitating.
“Does he have a nice family? Is he a nice boy?” I delve into his story looking to understand.
“Yes Mami, his Daddy’s name is Francis and his mommy’s name is Franzisha. They are a nice family Mami.”

If you are wondering about this odd sounding family…or wondering how to say the son’s name, don’t sweat it. Meet my son’s imaginary friend and his family.  Yes, Javier, did not only craft up an imaginary friend, his friend came along with a mom, dad, a sister and a baby brother.

When I first started hearing Javier tell stories about Freiken, I was a bit concerned. How can this son of mine, the third out of four be in need of an imaginary anything when there are kids all around him? I researched the topic of imaginary friends and what developmental needs they might address, what it revealed of a child or about my role as parent.  As I read more on the subject, I came to be less anxiety ridden about the possibility that it might be an imaginary friend.

Moreover, as I am around my children 90% of the time, I was able to observe my child and see that Freiken was never present. Javier never spoke to him directly. This was not a textbook case of “imaginary friends.”

Then I caught a glimpse of myself as a child and my vivid imagination and burning desire to tell stories, to  entertain or entertain myself:

Flashback: I used to chat my Mom and Dad´s ear off.

Fastforward to present: Javier is a non-stop chatter box.

Creative, chatty, outgoing, energetic, fun, and temperamental are all adjectives that would have described me as a young child. They also describe my son Javier. Javier is so fun to have around! It is so quiet when he is absent.

I have become accustomed to hearing occasionally of Javier’s friend Freiken. The stories usually pop up when Javier does not  have a story of his own to add.  Jaimito and Olaia talk about school, Javier talks about his day of school and his homework. Olaia informs me of a birthday party she was invited to and later that day when I am alone with Javier…

“Shishi is bigger, she is my friend. She is bigger than Jaimito. She swims in water without a floatie, she is bigger than Jaimito.

“Mami you know Freiken plays with his sister? They play dinosaur king, and dinosaur t rex and monkey king” “Freiken plays with me alot.”

For a while I was concerned that Javier insisted on speaking about his imaginary friend Freiken, but  I finally came to terms with it, understanding the stories to be a manifestation of Javier’s desire to be heard, to tell stories, to engage me! And so he did, and I listened and probed and enjoyed what his stories told me about Javier.

One thought on “Javier, Freiken, Shishi, and I

  1. I love your stories, my dear. They capture our children in such a beautiful way.

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