In my years as a nanny I have come across kids that have certainly lived a lifetime or two before their current lives. This leads me to believe that reincarnation may be how it goes - at least for some people. Here are two examples of my findings.
In 1999, little Claire insisted that I call her Jim during her "I am not a girl, I am a boy and you will call me Jim" phase. This was a short-lived masculine phase for her as she soon began to allow us to refer to her once again as Claire. I had no problem calling her Jim - I don't think gender is as definitive* as some would have us believe - but I found it interesting that the name she chose was Jim. Not Cooper, or Sam, or Eli, or Zachary like the boys in her class. Not even Jimmy or James. But JIM: the name of a 65 year old plumber. Part of me wanted to investigate the time of her birth or conception* to see if there happened to be a death of a man named Jim that coincided with either event. Because really, Claire... Jim?
I now take care of Ellen, a 4 year old girl who I believe was alive in the 1950s - a housewife with pristine red salon-set hair, pressed dresses and high heeled shoes who played bridge, smoked cigarettes and gossiped about the neighbors over afternoon martinis while her husband was at work down at the bank. (Or maybe as a plumber named Jim.) I believe this because, like Claire, the names she chooses are not in sync with her current life experience. One of her imaginary friends is named Marla and the name she has chosen for herself when she is playing doggies in Marlene. (Yes, you read that correctly. When she pretends to be a dog, her name is Marlene. Marlene the dog**.) One of her dolls is called Marva and every time she sees an ant crawl by she says, "Look, there goes Judy!" Which is interesting because I have an aunt named Judy that Ellen did not know about.
Marlene - Judy - Marla - Marva. Sounds like a martini drinking bridge group to me.
This is Marva. At the time of this photo she was known as
The Baby Jesus*. I do not recall when she left that job to
I also have an inkling that there was someone named Paco back there in the fifties that played a significant role in the lives of these ladies. Ellen's other longtime imaginary friend is Paco Cinco Seis. It is very possible that there was a hot gardener in their neighborhood in 1956 or a sexy baseball player named Paco whose number was 56 or maybe it was a code name for a lover... Somewhere along the road was Paco and 56 was an important number for him because this friend is ALWAYS called Paco Cinco Seis never just Paco. (Side note: Paco Cinco Seis is from China and is sometimes a girl and sometimes a boy.)
More side notes:
*Please do not take these sentences as an invitation for religious discussion about homosexuality, when life begins/abortion or blasphemy.
**If I ever get a big dog I am going to name it Marlene. Especially if it is an Irish Setter.
If I ever get a little tiny dog I am going to name it Spiffy. But that's a story for another day.