Kid Fears

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by Tim Burdick on 07 August, 2014

I was baby sitting my nephew and nieces once. In the night, he woke up crying, with a runny nose and tear stained eyes. “Where’s Mommy and Daddy?”

“It’s okay. They’re at a party but they'll be home soon.” I assured him, “Uncle Tim is downstairs. I won’t go to sleep till they’re home. You want some water?”

He nodded. I gave him a glass. After he had finished, I got him to blow his nose and go back to bed.

It was hard being four and I didn’t envy him to being alone in the dark. I remember when the only thing that scared me was the monster in my closet, which was an unexplored cave with mounds of clothes and sports equipment. There was stuff in there that was older than me. Also, the closet ceiling was the only entrance into the attic. Pushing a piece of panel out gave you quick access. I tried to explain the security dangers to my parents but they never got the message- how the monsters could get in.

I would spend hours lying in my bed, my eyes staring and my ears straining for any creek or groan from the closet door as it slowly opened.

The monster living in our house was patient. He had waited all day to scare a child. Once everyone was asleep, especially me, he crept, tip-toed, slithered, crawled, and sneaked, until he was inches from my hand, foot, or within the space of a breath from my face. Once he was within striking distance, he pondered ‘Should I grab a foot, run a clawed finger over the back of a hand or puff cold stale breath over his shoulders?’

His teasing would lead me to retreat further under the covers till I awoke. The monster quick as spit, hid again. The room was dark and empty. Panting, I looked around the room for signs and would not fall asleep for hours. The monster chuckled in his hiding place. The waiting game began again.

After a sleepless night, I would be tired and feel foolish over my childish fears. The sunlight had chased away all the nightmares. Eating cereal and watching cartoons made me feel better. 

What are your kid fears?

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