There are many excuses for not working out. This might be the oddest, and admittedly, it is mine.
Just as I was about to head downstairs for my first workout on our treadmill in quite some time, my five year old started bawling.
He had been playing chess with his imaginary friend, Goblin. Suddenly, he was inconsolable. Apparently, after getting a glass of water during the game, he was distracted by his brothers. He forgot to make his next move.
Goblin was pissed.
Yesterday, this imaginary friend, who my son claims as his “best friend,” told him that if anyone ever takes a break from chess for anytime longer than it takes to get a drink of water, he will never play chess with them again. In fact, said Goblin, he will never be their friend again.
Imaginary friends are tough.
“I’ve lost my best friend!”
We snuggled as he wailed, “I am not getting out of bed ever again! Do you know what it’s like to lose your best friend?!”
I tried to tell him all the things a mom tells her kids when they suffer from the inevitable heartaches that come with friendship. I tried to tell him that the friends who are mean like Goblin do not deserve his friendship.
“But he’s my best friend!”
I tried to explain that if Goblin is a good guy, he will realize how mean he was. And he will apologize. And they will once again be best friends.
“But he said he will never be my friend again!”
I tried to tell him that he is such a great kid that he will have lots of great friends. I reminded him that he has playdates this week with friends #2, #3 and #4 in the best-friend ratings (#5 is another imaginary one).
“But not Goblin!”
My five year old just graduated from pre-school. He is excited about starting kindergarten in the fall at his brothers’ school. He asks about it every day. “Am I going to kindergarten today?”
But I think he just realized that his real best friends are going to other schools, and that his time with them is limited. Goblin was just the first to let go, to see how it felt.
We snuggled until he felt better. And I got my workout carrying him downstairs to start a new chess game with mom.