When I was a kid, I hardly ever got out of bed in the middle of the night. Who knew what lurked beneath my mattress frame?
Sometimes I gathered enough courage to make a run to the bathroom.
Other times, well, let’s say soggy sheets are not as fun as they sound. But, at least no scaly hand ripped off my foot or pulled me out of my room and into the night.
I know you’re probably wondering – why didn’t my parents do a “pretend” monster check under the bed to ease my fears?
My mom did once. That probably explains why she only has one leg and two fingers.
My mom is fully limbed and digited. But, I don’t remember her checking for monsters or any other life forms under my bed. Maybe she was a realist. Or, maybe she just wasn’t stupid.
We lived in Texas, after all.
True story – I remember the day we found a poisonous snake in our bedroom closet. And, occasionally, a family member would observe a scorpion lurching across the living room carpet. Oh, and did I mention the numerous times disturbed folks show up at our house with gun in hand?
Small Texas towns had their down side. Maybe that’s why Mom and Dad
- refrained from pretending
- to sweep the perimeters for scary critters
- just after lights out.
They knew the truth. I should keep my hands and feet up and in the bed –just for safety’s sake.
When I had my own kids, I gave in and acted out the I’ll Make It All Safe For You routine.
I had no choice.
It was either stay up all night listening to some kid whine about monsters or pretend to single handedly exterminate all living things that ever crawled up from the pit of hell. This I did for a good night’s sleep.
In reality, I’m not that powerful.
Neither are you.
But, my kids were too young to handle the whole truth. There’s a lot of scary stuff in the dark and its not all under the bed.
Bad things go down every day. Hearts break. Loss devastates. Tragedy strikes when we least expect it.
Hold on now. If you have little kids afraid to fall asleep, I don’t recommend you get all “real” and say
“Hey, kiddos, you think you’re scared now, just wait. This is nothing compared to what you are going to experience someday. Wait until life knocks the stuffing clean out of you. Trust me, it’s coming. Now, anyone ready for a good night kiss?”
Not. Good. Parenting.
On the other hand, don’t you go on lying like I did. Just between you and me, I may have gotten a wee bit carried away with the I’m-gonna-wipe-out-any-alien-life-forms-with-my-monster-blaster dance routine.
Duh, ya think?
Seriously, here’s a bit of advice from an almost-grandma who missed her calling in alternative art expression.
Tell your kids the truth that they can handle.
God loves them. And, He is everywhere. We cannot get away from His presence. No matter what happens,