So I have this kid. She has a crazy imagination, and has since she was old enough to talk. Sometimes her stories are obviously made up – like the one where an alien teleported her to his planet to have a disco party. Others seem made up, but are also pretty plausible. This is the child that had an imaginary friend that I thought was an actual person for a whole year before I finally realized she was fictional. I kept quizzing her teachers to find out who this “Hally” was (awkward).
Many times when I ask her if her stories are true or pretend, she has to think about it for a while before she can tell me. I’m pretty sure that’s because the stories in her head are as real to her as what we had for dinner last night. This makes her incredibly convincing.
The other night, as I was tucking her in bed, we had this conversation.
Sydney: What time is it?
Me: 8:30, why?
Sydney: I have to be asleep by 9:40.
Me: Why 9:40?
Sydney: Well, I didn’t tell you this before, but the other night, I was lying in bed and I saw this wind. Usually you can’t see wind, but I saw this one. It was weird. It came up and looked at me in my bed, then swished down to Gwen’s bed and looked at her. Then it went out my door, so I got up and followed it. I saw it go down the hall to Layla’s room, then head down the stairs. When I got back in bed I noticed it was 9:40.
Me: You saw a wind?
Sydney: Yeah. And it didn’t act like regular wind since it was moving around like that. So I call it the Night Spirit.
Sydney: I’m pretty sure the Night Spirit comes to every house at night – you know, like Santa Clause, but every night, not just Christmas. It comes at 9:40 to see if you’re asleep. If you’re not asleep it gives you bad luck the next day, and if you are asleep then you’ll have a good day.
Me: How do you know that?
Sydney: Well, I figured it out because the day after I saw it, I had a really unlucky day. Lots of bad stuff happened. The dog drooled on my foot, I couldn’t tie my shoe fast, stuff like that.
Me: Ah, I don’t really think…
Sydney: So we have to go to sleep by 9:40 tonight, so that when the Night Spirit comes it won’t see us awake.
Ok, obviously there’s no such thing as a Night Spirit, right? I mean, she didn’t really see a strange wind floating between her and her sister’s beds. Right?…Right? Just in case, I’ll be in bed by 9:30 from now on.