My son, at age 11, still has an invisible friend, in this case a large dog named Scooby. Many people probably do not realize that Scooby is a big invisible dog, because my guy speaks of him as though he were a real canine. So when his therapeutic riding therapist today asked, while brushing a horse with him, whether he has a dog at home that sheds, my son replied firmly that oh yes, his dog Scooby sheds all the time. Thank goodness it's only invisible fur.
Probably there's some developmental timeline somewhere that tells me I should worry if my child is still talking to invisible dogs in his preteens. But developmental timelines have never meant much in our house. And you know, Scooby just comes in so handy sometimes. Like today, I had to go out with my daughter while my son was still finishing his homework. My husband was trying to nap after a very early morning at work, so I told my son I needed to talk to Scooby. "Scooby," I said, "I'm putting you in charge of making sure your boy does his homework. He needs to write his spelling words five times each, and color his math worksheet. Can you help him do that?" Scooby was up for the challenge. And sure enough, when I got back, the homework was done. There have been nights when he wouldn't even finish up that promptly for me. The invisible dog's got skills.
Still, I'm holding out against my son's suggestion that Invisible Scooby would make a good babysitter, and really, we don't have to have his grandma watch him when we got to his sister's Back to School Night this week. Certainly, we know how responsible Scooby is, but since my son also tends to blame the dog whenever something goes wrong, he's got a bit of a bad rep. Nor can I agree when my guy insists that his invisible pal would be a great one-on-one aide for him at school. I'm pretty sure the teacher would rather see his assistant, though frankly, we've had some aides who would probably be better if they had been invisible. Maybe Scooby should give the district a call just in case.