When I was a child, one of my biggest fears was that something was hiding under my bed. I am still not clear what that "something" was, but I became creative in dealing with it.
Running, and taking a flying leap into my bed from the doorway.
Arranging ALL my stuffed animals around me when I slept to protect me.
Cramming all my belongings under the bed (now that I think about it, maybe that is what my son & daughter both are doing this, not just teenager sloppiness??).
If I was feeling very brave, I would lift up the blankets and peek under the bed, but only from the safety of the top, ringed by my animals.
I also thought things lived in closets, but since those could be closed, they were not as threatening to me. Even today, I will close (and lock, if possible) every closet before I go to the bed :).
Yesterday, we were doing our annual 4H petting zoo. I love watching the small children come and pet the chickens, the awe of touching their silky soft feathers and feeling their warmth. Of course, the baby goats are always a hit too.
Children have no fear, their innate curiousity trumps all. It is the adults that jump when our chickens even just move to adjust their feet as they are being pet by lots of little hands. The adults that say "BE CAREFUL, the chicken can bite!" Or that urge their children from animal to animal, insisting they touch the animal, instead of letting the child explore on their own terms. It saddens me to see how fast, and unknowingly, adults project their fear of animals onto their children.
That brings me back to my biggest childhood fear: who is sharing my under bed space?
How in the world did that come around? Today, my bed is very high, with nothing under it but my dog, and on occasion my trampoline. Either way, I can see under it from the door :).
This will be the topic of my next Skype coffee talk with my Mama. Stay tuned!
Labels: adults, animals, chickens, childhood, childhood dreams, fear, fear of animals, memories