One of the things I love about having kids is getting a glimpse into the way their minds work. When my oldest son was about four years old, he created an imaginary friend named Tixer. Tixer, Zackary told me, was a ghost from the olden days that had come to live with us. Tixer was nice, but his arch-nemesis, Omlite (who I assume was another ghost), was not. The stories of their adventures always kept me entertained.
Yet at the same time as Zackary was inventing stories about Tixer, I was teaching and enforcing basic values of honesty and openness to my young son. And then one day as we were getting back from a trip to Regina and not talking about anything in particular, my uncharacteristically quiet boy looked at me and said, “Mom? There’s not really any such person as Tixer. I made him up. I’m sorry I lied.”