Monday, October 10, 2011

Things that go Bump

She hunkered down closer to me. "Do you want us to turn it off," I asked.

"No. I'm not afraid," she answered as the monster on the screen opened his slobbery mouth once more.

What is it about kids that they love scary things.....or so they say. They love haunted houses. They aren't above hiding behind a door and scaring the bejeebers out of me. Yet, when it comes to bedtime, Sydney hates being upstairs alone.

I can relate. I had many a fearful night sleeping alone in the upstairs of our old, creaky house. The dark was full of farm sounds, a barn owl, barking dogs, an occasional squeal from a nocturnal predator attack. Thunder shook the windows and rain pounded on the old tin roof. Floor boards creaked as night settled in. In the winter, the old radiator pipes knocked and burped. A little girl's imagination went wild.

Occasionally, I go upstairs to read when the girls go to bed. I don't want bedtime to be fearful. Still, I need to allow them to work through their fears alone. I want them to be strong. Isn't it that way with all of life. We want to spare our children pain but know that struggle and survival will only make them stronger.

There isn't much I'm afraid of any more. We've had a ghost, so they hold no fear for me. I love to sleep in a pitch black room. Creaks and groans are usually my own. Even noises in the trees behind our home fail to terrorize me.

Underbrush crunched as something passed through the trees. "Mom, quick close the door!" my daughter whispered.

I went to the door. As I closed it, I yelled to Stacey, "I have a gun!"

Stacey snapped back, "You don't have a gun!" Well, so much for scaring the noisy visitor in the backyard.

As to the scary movies? I guess there will be more snuggling during the month of Halloween. Things that go bump in the night.

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