When I was a kid, I was terrified that ‘monsters’ would eat me while I was sleeping, starting at my feet. My parents never heeded my warnings that I heard said monsters under the bed, forcing me to sleep alone with my fear. It was then that I began to curl my legs up once I got in my bed, thinking that the monster wouldn’t be able to reach me (I didn’t know about retractable claws back then…).
I mention that because at age 28, I STILL sleep like that. Now, I’m not worried about monsters anymore (though if I watch a scary movie…) but my body has just gotten used to it. I cannot sleep with my legs straight or on my back…it’s gotta be on the side in a ball. All this because of a fear I had when I was a kid. It makes me wonder what else I believe or do based on what I learned as a kid…I can think of a couple…
I thought that everyone was my friend. I thought that God was a pilot in a WWII plane who would drop gifts for people. I thought wrestling was real. I thought the Olympics were dumb (how so much has changed…). I thought I’d be a rapper when I grew up.
Of course I know better now. Some people are people you just know, or acquaintances, or friends for a season, or people you don’t like over time and so on and so on. God is not a pilot (sidenote: Why do people have God is my Co-Pilot bumper stickers? People are dumb.). Wrestling is not real. Olympics turn countries into small towns, which is awesome. And I would be the worst rapper ever. There are some many things we carry into our adulthood. How to treat others, how we love our spouses and children. How we deal with relationships (Like in the intro for the movie “He’s Just Not That Into You” and the character development in “500 Days of Summer”). Fears and anxieties. Matters of faith and understanding. Heartbreak and loss…so much of these things we live out now are because of how we learned them as a kid. Of course we may not believe them as we did (there are no monsters under bed) but we have the ‘scars’ and history as a reminder (curled up in a ball).
I write this because I have a daughter who will learn from me what kind of man she wants to marry or NOT marry, how to deal with bad news, how to admit wrong, how to enjoy the little things, save money…you name it. I’m HER teacher. I need to tell her that there are no monsters under her bed and that she can straighten her legs…maybe even sleep on her back. And if you have kids, work with kids or will one day have kids, this responsibility is on you too. You’re welcome 🙂