Nov 212012

“Enter Sandman” came on when I was driving home tonight.  I think of the video when I hear it, and in particular the tractor trailer crashing into the child’s bed, because I always thought it was a powerful and effective metaphor for a nightmare.

Did you have a lot of bad dreams as a child?  Do you have them now?  I still have them once in a while—three or four times a year, say—but as often as not, I can’t describe what’s scary about them.  I’m feeling fear when I wake up, but when I go back through the narrative I can’t find what made me feel that way.

I think I had a lot more bad dreams as a child than our boys do.  Seems like they have them about as often as I do now, and when they do, it’s about even odds we’ll even hear about it before the morning.  Moreover, we only hear that a boy had one—not a blow by blow of what happened in it, as I delivered at their age.

You know, they’re not afraid of the dark either.  That’s good.  There is an entire class of parental comfort from which we’ve been largely exempted.

Maybe a factor is that we’ve never allowed the existence of ghosts in conversation with them.  They’re just not real, and that’s that.  There are normal explanations.  I grew up with 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey, and it seems like I had lots of friends with interests in hauntings and such.  So it was a good while before I had any finality about it.

I do remember one time Nathan asking me to look in his closet for him at bedtime.  He was four or so.  I said “why do you want me to look in there?”  He said “to make sure nothing’s in there.”  I said “I know nothing’s in there, buddy.  I don’t have to look in there to be sure.”  I kissed him good night and left.  And that might have been the only time we ever talked about it.  I want to say I read that in a book or an article.  It was definitely effective.

Sleep tight.

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