Who’s Afraid of the Dark?

I’m afraid of the dark. I’m afraid that my once solid sleeper will spend hours after we put her to bed

discovering fearful dinosaurs, angry monsters and mean doggies hiding in every corner of her room and

lurking in the shadows.

I’m afraid that while her heart is gripped with fear, she’ll turn the bedroom light on to “surface-of-the-

sun” level making it that much more difficult for her to fall asleep. Then, out of boredom, she’ll strip

her pajamas off, pull out every book and toy that she hasn’t yet banished from her room, and perhaps

liberate all the diapers and wipes from the wicker baskets that contain them.

I’m afraid that once she’s completely bored, she’ll start to look at the shadows the bright light makes on

the wall and that no amount of explaining them away will convince my three-year-old that her brain is

playing tricks on her. So, we’ll make up stories about a night light that will ward off the “scaries” and tell

her she’s the luckiest girl in the world to have “Peter Pan shadows” in her room.

I’m afraid that her fear will persist despite our valiant efforts to soothe her and we’ll hear her opening

her door, tip-toeing in the hallway, and coming downstairs with inane reasons why she needs us.

I’m afraid that when I finally head to bed myself, I’ll find that Sophia has fashioned a makeshift bed in

the hallway and my heart will break for that scared little girl.

I’m afraid as I lay with her, holding her hand and listening to her fall asleep that out of love, I am

creating a bad habit.