Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fear Factor

Sawyer has always been a cautious child (First-child syndrome of an overparenting mom. Discuss.). But now that he has a huge imagination and the words to describe everything in minute detail, he has become terrified of some very specific things.

Examples, you say? Fine. Here we go. Hopefully I haven't posted this before, but I'm too lazy to search my blog. Skip this one if you must!

Months ago, during a trip to the mall, Sawyer spotted a poster that featured a frightening-looking woman on it. I can't remember if it was an ad for a movie or what. I don't even think I glanced at it for more than a millisecond.

Sawyer, however, used it as a launching pad for an incredible scenario that is still going strong.

He named her the "Dragon Lady."

She lives in the Black Forest.

When our dogs bark, he asks if they're waking up the Dragon Ladies.

He makes David drive him to this canyon, er, I mean, Black Forest, near our house, where David parks, rolls down the window, and they scream at the top of their lungs before high-tailing it out of there with the Dragon Ladies in hot pursuit.

THANKfully, the DLs cannot keep up with the car. So Sawyer is safe.

After the recent fires burned the trees in the canyon, we told Sawyer the DLs had to leave. They went so far away they had to take a plane and a boat to get there - there, being the Green Forest.

"I want to take a plane and a boat!"

Sorry. You can't.

So pretty much every night, Sawyer asks about the Dragon Ladies. And the Green Forest.

But wait. There's more.

The doors to David's office must be closed once the sun goes down. He will cry until one of us shuts them. He's even got Sage in on the act. She'll put her hands over her eyes and shriek "Daddy's office! Door!"

Any tiny little noise sets him off. The wind. One of the dogs knocking over something. Last night it was "Mommy, what's that sound of someone walking up the stairs?" Since we were all upstairs, it was likely the footsteps of my sanity - which was actually fleeing down the stairs, searching for a more reputable host.

We try to explain to him that he's always safe in the house, especially since we have two large dogs who will bark like there's a gazelle on the front porch if, say, something as threatening as a neighborhood child walks past our house - on the other side of the street.

Sawyer's not buying it. He eyes those dogs with suspicion, as if they're in cahoots with the Bad Guys. Or the DLs, as the case may be.

He was interested, though, when I told him that when I was Little Girl Mommy I also used to be afraid of scary things like the dark. Unlike when he is a teenager and I will not POSSIBLY be able to relate to ANYTHING that he might experience because I am SO OLD, he took a little comfort from hearing that Mommies can also be scared.

And I was scared, but not at his age, as he is clearly more precocious than I ever was. I think I was probably 10. We lived in a house with a long staircase that led to the upstairs bedrooms. There was a hallway at the top and my room was at the far end. I remember standing at the bottom and being afraid to go up because the light was on in the hallway, and since I didn't turn it on, it was probably those crazy murderers who like to SEE what they're doing before the kill.

As an adult, the fears are different. I'm the one who locks the doors when David is away, as he's been for much of the past two weeks. I don't start at every little noise (remember my dogs?). Instead, I worry about whether I wasn't patient enough with Sawyer, or if Sage's recent bout of hives spell a dairy problem.

When I lie in bed, in the dark, I can fill my head with a vertible Momapalooza of horrifying images of someone snatching one of my children, or of them getting a deadly illness, or of losing my husband in an accident, until the tears flow.

Then there's the dread that gets my heart sinking into my stomach. My own mortality. The unthinkable fear that I might not be there to watch my children grow.

Grown-up fears that I'd trade in an instant for the pure childhood fear of the dark.

And the Dragon Ladies.


Mely said...

I heard you! Lately I had become a paranoid(sp?) mom. I fear that something will happen to Zoulanche and I wont be able to live anymore b/c the pain is so unbearable. It seems like the fact that I wont be able to have another baby makes me more cautious of all the things that can happen and I don't have control over...but I push my self to believe that every thing will be OK.

It is funny how kids have sometimes those kind of fear...DD needs to have the closet door closed or she can't sleep!...I am 34 yrs old and I don't like to be in the dark! ;O(

Cheryl said...

Ha! Sawyer also needs his closet door closed! And - you have to believe everything will be okay. Otherwise, you would seriously go crazy.

Jen C said...

Imagination is an amazing thing isn't it? Sawyer and the Dragon Ladies would make for a great children's book.

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