As a child I’d always gotten along extremely well with children who were much younger than I was and based largely on those experiences, I’ve pretty much always wanted to have children of my own.
In fact, my longest-lasting childhood imaginary friends were my imaginary children.
I had dozens of imaginary children from about the time I was 4 or 5 years old up until I was well into middle school. They were sweet little imaginary people who played with, looked up to, and loved me.
We went on all kinds of adventures together. I frequently had to mediate between two who weren’t getting along, often mirroring situations I had been in myself. They helped me write stories, find four-leaf clovers, and discover lovely hiding places away from the other children who were my age.
CW: mention of beginning menstruation in the next paragraph
I can’t pinpoint exactly when my imaginary children went away, but I believe it was around the time I was middle-school aged. That was also when I first got my period, after which I declared for the first couple years that I’d rather never have children if it meant I could forgo all that horribly painful and messy monthly bleeding.
Perhaps that’s partly why they disappeared.
However, by the time I was in high school I’d more or less made peace with my reproductive system and just knew that I’d have children eventually.
What I didn’t know was how vital my children would prove to be in figuring out who I am.