Sobo-be-nye-nye

This morning, Hal brought up someone I had not heard him talk about in some time. As he ate his (by his choice) cold blueberry bagel with cream cheese, he propped up half of a bagel slice on one end.

“Mommy, this looks like Sobo-be-nye-nye’s house.”

Sobo-be-nye-nye has been his most constant imaginary friend for at least three years now. But I hadn’t heard mention of him in months. Maybe even a year.

The thought of a quarter bagel shaped house intrigued me. Hal had resumed eating said bagel, but I asked him a question.

“What is Sobo-be-nye-nye’s house made out of?”

He swallowed the food in his mouth before he answered matter-of-factly.

“It’s made out of wood and it has a candy roof. And his room has a nest in it and there are leaves that cover him to keep him warm.”

This imagery made me wonder what Sobo-be-nye-nye looks like. I had never really thought about it. I suppose I always assumed he was human. Although, I should mention that even though Hal always uses the male pronoun to describe his friend, he has usually been clear that Sobo-be-nye-nye is actually a girl.

“So… what does Sobo-be-nye-nye look like?”

He finished another bite and then said, “Well, he used to look like… a baby dragon… but now he’s grown up and he’s… an ant.”

“An ant?”

He nodded.

“He was a baby dragon and he grew into an ant?”

Another nod.

“That’s kind of strange.”

Yet another nod. There was no smiling or laughing or any other indication – other than some slight hesitations as he spoke – that he was making any of this up. Imaginary friends in general, but his in particular, fascinate me. I wish I could get into his head for just a minute and see what it’s like in there. It must be a place of magnificent wonder.

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