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a formal introduction

I never had imaginary friends as a child; perhaps it was something to do with my total lack of imagination. Harvey is clearly his mother's son in that respect, because he spends big chunks of his day holding conversations with himself or making his toys talk to each other or "reading" wonderfully creative stories from books. Although, when I say it that way you might think that this wellspring of imaginative play means that he can spend time by himself, which is not generally the case: his conversations and stories are so fascinating to him that he wants to be sure we know about them! Also we need to be around to eat the food he cooks, and to ride on trains and tractors with him. Things like that.

Featuring prominently in all this imagination are Jop and Boonin. I argued for "Jopp" as a spelling for the former but Leah got there first, so I guess I'll follow her lead. In any case, I wish I could remember when we started to hear about these two characters. All I can recall is that Jop showed up first and Boonin followed a little while later, but by now they tend to be inseparable. They live under the flower tree in our yard (Harvey makes his home in the hemlocks and the store is beneath the holly), but they spend a good deal of time over at our house. Today they were even there when we were out watching the football game with friends! Maybe they're more base hoop fans.

In the car on the way home this evening Harvey was talking about the pair (that's how I knew I could expect them when we got home; he says they let themselves in). At some point in what was mostly a monologue, we heard the following:

"I'm Jop. And I'm Boonin. And we're Jop and Boonin."

So there you have it. Whether he was influenced in his cadence by the football announcers—he didn't seem to be paying attention but we should know by now that he's always listening—or some other source, it seemed like as good an introduction as any to the pair that play so large a role in our elder son's imagination. I expect to continue to hear more from them in the future


I was an introvert when I was Harvey's age—I only had one imaginary friend.

Heh, that's rather clever.

Jop and Boonin came shopping with us at Market Basket this evening. Jop wanted lettuce.

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