Emily’s World

This morning, I was sitting around thinking that I felt like doing a blog post, but didn’t have a topic in mind. I have no current rants, and a few other ideas are still percolating, in the sense of “do I really want to discuss this with the broader audience of ten folks who read my blog?”

Then I remembered: I have never written the story about Emily’s World.

Those of you who know my older child probably know she also inhabits an alternate universe, a place she goes at night when she falls asleep. She calls this place, “My World,” and for the last three years (she was quite a precocious talker, and so has indeed been telling elaborate stories since she was two) she’s started several stories a week with, “In My World,”.

Emily’s world is a really awesome place. In it, she is an adult, a mom, with a job of her own. In Emily’s World, it rains every day, but only at night, so that it never keeps people from doing the things they want to do. In Emily’s World, the plants are sometimes purple, or pink. And sometimes green, because, really, plants ARE usually green.

The first Emily’s World story I remember is one that started, “In My World, I have 9 baby girls, and 9 baby boys.” This then led into a conversation about how hard it must be for her to take care of 18 infants at once, all the while being a scientist, and a doctor, and an astronaut. Incidentally, all of the girls started out named “Emily” and all of the boys started out named “Zachary”, which caused me to make a completely unappreciated joke about George Foreman. But I digress. (Often.)

Emily’s World often reflects our real world. She tells stories about taking her kids to daycare, and how sometimes they miss her, but they know she’ll come back, and then tells me she likes her job(s) so she has to take the babies to daycare because they can’t come to work with her. I’ve come to view her world as a way of processing stuff she’s working on HERE, a way of exercising empathy with people who do and say things that are unfathomable to her. I’m rather flattered, actually, because it shows she knows I must have a reason to do the things I do, and it’s not that I’m a mean mom.

In Emily’s World, there’s hardly any traffic. In Emily’s World, when people have more money than they need for food and clothes and toys, they give it to other people who don’t have enough. Because, and this is all Emily, “It’s not okay to have a lot of money, and see someone who has no food or house to live in, and not give them money.” I love my little Socialist.

Lest you think Emily’s World is a utopia devoid of conflict or tragedy, it most definitely is not. Every disciplinary issue we have at home eventually makes itself known in Emily’s World. Recently, her daughter has been having trouble listening when she asks her to do things like put her shoes on, or get ready for bed, or pick up her toys. But, hey, NOTHING like that ever happens in our house, right?

As for tragedy…well, sort of. Emily is five, now, much more mature than she was three years ago, and seems to get that 18 kids is far, FAR too many (the Duggars notwithstanding). So she started talking about her TWO kids – one boy and one girl. Of course, me being me, I called her on the inconsistency:

Me: “Emily, didn’t you used to have 18 babies? 9 boys and 9 girls?”

Emily: “Oh, yeah…um…”

Me: “What happened?”

Emily: “They died.”

Okay, then. Efficient. Morbid, maybe, if you’re an adult, but death is sort of matter-of-fact to a five-year-old, and I guess it was the only rational way she could rid herself of those 16 kids.

There are LOTS of Emily’s World stories. I get a new one at least a few times a week. Most are…well, boring. Like our real world. But I love hearing them, because they give me a window into her brain, and because that window shows me a little girl who will probably grow up into a really awesome woman.

(Final note: if you’re wondering, Emily is fully aware that her world isn’t real. She confided this to me about six months ago. But she loves it anyway.)

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