Sometimes, amid the swirl of daily life, my four year old daughter will report that her friend “Sally” is visiting. It’s never clear when Sally arrived nor when she intends to depart, but that’s to be expected when you’re dealing with a child whose background is as shrouded in mystery as Sally’s is. This invisible girl reveals as little as possible about herself, including where she is sitting from moment to moment, such that I am occasionally scolded for planting my fat parental bottom right on her. The little we know of Sally has emerged from interviews with my daughter, who has disclosed that her friend lives with grandparents because her parents have died, though of what it’s unclear. We know that Sally is the same height and age as my daughter, and, in all likelihood, has a similar inability to remember the babysitter’s name.
Recently, we took the kids to Storyland in New Hampshire, and when I was getting them ready for bed, my daughter informed me that Sally had dibs on the bottom bunk. After that, she was never again mentioned, and it occurs to me now that I might be accused of having left the defenseless lass at the rental condo with nothing to eat but two overpriced bags of granola that I forgot to pack, and a head of lettuce that by now may be rotting in the crisper. Perhaps my daughter will confront me about this at some point, and I’ll suggest that Sally’s grandparents spirited her away while my daughter was having an extended visit to the bathroom, as she likes to do. One thing we know: Sally didn’t make the trip to the Flume Gorge.