As a mother, I’ve managed to heap a lot of guilt onto my shoulders. I don’t take the kids to the pool by myself, and I don’t venture out to many activities with the three of them unless I have help. While I have gotten braver this summer and attempted more, sometimes I wonder if we should’ve put more space between the kids so that they could do some of the things that others get to do with their mommies.

But sometimes I just can’t be blamed for everything….

As I listened to my two littles one finalize preparations for their tea party, my heart swelled with pride. For one of the few moments in their short time as brother and sister, they were playing together and nicely. I watched as they used their imaginations and my daughter’s Disney tea set to create the perfect event for their friends.

“Ella’s coming, and so is Gel,” Hannah Grace told her brother excitedly.

“I’ve invited Jeff,” Caleb added.

I had never heard of these kids before and was impressed at the names they were giving their guests. They allowed me to sample some tea and a cookie (which was delicious), and then they continued playing as I moved into the kitchen to clean up our real mess from that morning.

The nice sounds from the foyer continued on for a few more minutes, when all of a sudden, angry conversation ensued. I rolled my eyes thinking, “What now?” Why was it impossible for my children to complete one activity together without fighting?

Caleb and Hannah Grace both stormed into the kitchen yelling.

“What?! What?!” I asked, confused by the sudden change of events.

Caleb’s face shone with anger, and Hannah Grace’s brow was furrowed.

With arms flailing in exasperation, Caleb yelled, “Nobody showed up for our tea party!!!”

Hannah Grace folded her arms across her chest and let out a big pout.

I stared at them for a moment, shocked that one of them hadn’t hit the other or stolen a cup of tea, and then I had to look away and smile.

I knew that as a parent I would mend many broken hearts. I knew that kids can be cruel, and there would be times when they would hurt my own children’s feelings. I just hadn’t known that those kids would be imaginary.

And if my kids’ imaginary friends won’t play with them, well, there’s not a whole lot this mommy can do.

Originally published at on August 9, 2010.

Wife and mother of four; Former Children’s Ministry Director, 12Stone Church. Current High School English Teacher.