Driving home from a friend's house late one evening, we had to drive through a dark, wooded area. Spring7 pipes up from the back, "these are moose woods." Most people would think, oh, okay, probably no moose in Ohio but they don't know about the moose. Spring7's moose. Some kids have imaginary friends. My child has an imaginary moose. Wait, wait...not just any moose. A moose who is sometimes friendly but most of the time mean and scary. I'm fairly certain I'm the only woman in the world who has a nefarious imaginary moose in her family.
I was surprised to hear Spring7 mention the moose because he (the moose) really hasn't been around much during the last year. The moose was part of our daily lives for several years. Years.
The moose was serious business. Spring7 doesn't mess around; he means what he says. We don't joke about the moose. Conversations about the moose required solemn tones and straight faces while talking about, for example, how the moose surely wouldn't vacation with us because everyone knows moose don't like sand in their hooves. Going to Grandma's house? No moose allowed there. Do you think Grandma would put up with moose in her basement? No! The moose riding to Lake Erie with us in the car top carrier? Did you see how full that thing is? No room for a moose there. No, I really don't think he can hold on to the back of the van spread eagle with hooves.
Besides trips out of town, the moose hunkered under beds, in dark rooms and closets. I actually had to tell his preschool teachers "Spring7 has an imaginary moose who may or may not come to school with him." I wanted to follow that with "but we're really a very normal family." I'll never forget that one of his preschool teachers looked at me like I was a little crazy and the other one said, "No problem. That kind of imagination just means he's very intelligent." Guess which teacher I liked best?
The moose could also be a barrel of laughs kind of imaginary moose. At those times, Spring7 called him "my moosey friend" and not the moose.
We argued the fact that moose don't live in the wild in Ohio. We showed him the gentle and friendly looking moose at the zoo. (I suppose they could also look huge and slightly menacing too?) Spring7 believed us but that didn't take away the fact that he had a moose under his bed.
We knew in time that the moose leave on his own and for the most part he has. Sadly, that just means that my little Spring7 is growing up.