Whirlwind. Whirlwind. Whirlwind. Borderline tornadic. I don't even think that is a real word (and I think I can write a book). But it feels appropriate in describing my brain the past few days. I have a million little pieces of paper, random words in my journal that I keep in my purse, emails to friends, comments on blogs all wrestling for order and understanding. I figure this will be my life for a while until I understand where this is all headed.
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Yesterday, Ethan, Sadie and I were coming home from soccer practice. Ethan began this conversation about "things that creeped him out." It ended up with each of us making a list of the things that we thought were creepy or scary. I think it was very productive seeing that it occurred in the car, while it was still daylight, rather than right at bedtime when scary things are usually brought to light, thus giving multiple excuses for not going to sleep. Here is a sampling of what brings us much fear:
Ethan, age 8
1. Some character named Cyrus, a lizard-like "slinky serpent" found on "Dragon Tales." My research indicates that he often tries to steal others' eggs to eat. Ethan would be horrified if he knew that I posted this for the world to see, but well, which one of you is going to bring that up to him? I didn't think so. It also says something about how an innocent show on PBS viewed at the age of 3 can linger in the darker areas of your brain. Sure, Ethan can watch Star Wars and Indiana Jones and not bat an eye. But, give him a cartoon lizard and he falls to pieces.
2. The boa constrictors in Riki Tiki Tavi. Or, as he puts it, "Riki Tiki Tacky." The point here is that a) they watched it in class at school (thank you for that well-utilized tuition money) and b) I found it creepy (not scary) as well at that age, in the same exact movie when I was in 3rd grade. Genetically connected in that part of our brain? Maybe.
There was a smattering of other things...including some Naria character, but really, I am beginning to believe that reptiles are just not Ethan's thing.
Sadie, age 7
1. The blame for this one rests solely on my in-laws. Jay took Sadie, then 3, to the Netherlands to visit the in-laws while he was on business there. My in-laws are a bit on the snobbish side, musically, often only listening to classical music. Well, I take that back. My father-in-law has some thing for Tina Turner as most European men his age, but I digress. Anyway, they bought the CD of "Peter and the Wolf" along with a book with graphic illustrations to peruse while listening to the music. I am not sure what my in-laws told Sadie about the book - maybe a mistranslation occurred? That is not clear. What IS clear is that the book and its illustrations and the music nearly make her cry. Sadie could not bear to think about that book being in her room one night and I tore apart her room, looking for the book in order for her to sleep. Keep your judgments to yourself - I know I indulged her.
2. The Hawk in "Seven Brothers." This is actually a movie my mother owns and it stays at her house. Now that I think about it, ALL the grandparents are to blame for the terrifying moments in Sadie's mind. Interesting. In the movie, the hawk swoops down to gather and kill the little baby rabbits. It is an intense moment. I know Sadie was subjected to this movie at least 5 times as my mother thought it was just so cute and sweet to see the relationship between the puppy and his adopted rabbit family. Meanwhile, my daughter won't sleep for days after viewing this movie. Thanks, Mom.
Kelsey, age 37
My main source of terror as a child was none other than Darth Vader. I am sure this was perpetuated by my sister who would hide in my closet at night, mimicking his heavy, labored breathing, causing me to intensely clutch my covers and whimper. I would also conjure up Darth Vader hiding in every corner of our house, just waiting to kill me. At night, I would hold my breath as Vader passed by my room with a "life detector." Why I felt I was so important to Darth Vader is unknown. I certainly didn't have the power to use the Force to bring down the Empire.
When I mentioned my childhood fear to my children in the car, they laughed. Yes, they LAUGHED at me. They just couldn't see it. They saw nothing in the world scary about a man in a dark suit who underneath was "just Luke's dad," as Ethan put it. He is right. When Vader takes off his helmet, he really just looked like Uncle Fester on steroids. To their credit, however, my children have had the benefit of knowing how he evolved into Darth Vader and that he died in the final movie.
I think that is where I am right now. No, not still fearful of Darth Vader (well, maybe a little). Life would be a little less scary if I knew all about this "writing stuff" I am doing - from beginning to end, start to finish. I am not completely clear on what I am writing and it is partly-cloudy as to whom. All I do know is that I am writing. Revelations are coming quickly and yesterday it hit me like a TON of bricks...in writing a book about relationships and transparency, I would have to be totally transparent. And, someone might actually read it! Ack! Am I ready for that? Frankly, this is, as my children put it, creeping me out.