Thursday / April 16 / 2015
Monsters under the bed
“SUCKER!” is what my daughter dubbed me when I explained why I turned-on the light in my three-year-old grandson Brody’s closet before tucking him in for the night while babysitting.
“He asked me to,” I shared with a look of Grammy justification. “He said there were monsters under the bed.”
I wouldn’t have dreamed of dismissing Brody’s concern. To him, the perceived danger was very real. Immediately, I looked under the bed, scoured the closet, and inspected every nook and cranny. We both understood words alone would not bring reassurance. His huge three-year-old imagination caused him to fret and I could see it in his furrowed brow — just like his Grammy, always furrowed when concerned about monsters. This type of furrow requires action.
If I had one, I would have worn a superhero cape as I flew around his room to prove, it’s safe. You’re safe, my Sweet Pea. In fact, I would have preferred it and perhaps should look into acquiring one. A dark pink one. But we’d already prolonged bedtime with at least five other excuses only a Grammy would intentionally buy. Well, Grammies and awesome babysitters like the ones I had growing up.
Life is about adventure, just one of the many things I learned from said awesome babysitters (Kim, Chris, Karen, Nita… you know who you are). One of my favorite things to write on friends’ Facebook walls for their birthdays includes a wish for an abundance of love, laughter, health, joy and adventure! The word itself elicits a smile because it invokes so many wondrous things.
After passing the monster room check, turning on the light in the closet and getting my squirmy boy tucked in, I relished the baby softness of his hair and forehead. It was like pushing spun gold from a face that got cuter each time I looked. Brody smiled at me and without speaking a word, thanked me for not judging his monster theory.
“Who am I to judge?,” I replied, through nothing more than a kiss and a nose nuzzle. How do you tell Innocence we don’t live in a perfect world and it IS filled with monsters, each of our own making? If turning-on a light makes the monsters go away for my Sweet Pea, that light is going to SHINE, baby, shine.
In fact, I encourage all of us to flip on that light and let it SHINE. Expose whatever it is that taunts you and haunts you and makes you believe you are less than you are. Time to retire, monsters. The light is on so there’s no coming out. That’s the rule. You lose. We win.
AUTHOR’s NOTE: I originally began to pen this blog post in mid-October 2013 when my grandson Brody had just turned three. For some unknown reason, most likely laziness, I left it unfinished. I came across the draft this week and remembered the night with vividness and fondness. It was great fun finishing the post a year and a half later — particularly because I just saw my Sweet Pea last week as I was en route from the Adirondacks in upstate New York to the ocean in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The side-by-side image shows me with Brody in Nov 2013 (one month after the monster-thon) and then again last week in April 2015. I am pleased to share that my now 4-1/2 year-old grandson Brody is still filled with wild mischief, unending curiosity and incurable determination that’s likely going to give him a permanently wrinkled brow like his Grammy. This kid will forever own a piece of my heart.
Forge ahead, Adventure!!!