One of my kids favorite bedtime stories is the true story I tell of the time I was most scared in my life. Seeing as nothing much has been happening around here and I haven't anything more exciting to post about, I thought I would share this bedtime story for my post tonight.
Long ago when I was a little girl about 6 or 7 years old, I slept in an antique white wrought iron bed. It was about a foot off the ground and I used to hide under it when I was trying to hide from my parents or my siblings. It made a perfect hiding place.
Because it was such a good hiding place I was always scared that a monster of some sort might be hiding under there when I went to bed. Each night I would turn off the light in my room and take as few steps as possible before jumping onto my bed from as far away as possible. This was all just in case there was something under my bed. I didn't want it to be able to grab my foot.
One night I followed this routine and then as usual began the nightly wait to fall asleep. I have never been able to fall asleep quickly. As I lay waiting for sleep to come, I felt my bed shake. Now I was a rather logical and reasonable girl and I knew beds could not shake themselves. I also couldn't believe there was REALLY a monster under my bed. I mean that was just a crazy fear right?
I thought to myself, "maybe I accidentally moved and made the bed shake." It was a wobbly bed. "Or maybe it was the wind." Then I did note that the window was closed and so there couldn't really be "wind." Still I was not ready to accept the "monster" theory so I laid perfectly still, making sure my feet and hands stayed on the center of the bed, and waited.
A minute later my bed moved again. This time I was SURE it was not me or the wind and I had definitely felt my bed shake. So like any typical little girl, I screamed out "DAAAAADDDD!!!!"
A moment later my father groggily came to my doorway. He had obviously been sleeping. He turned on my light and asked what was wrong. I told him something was under my bed. Like a typical father, he said, "Now Stephanie, there is nothing under your bed. Look under there and see for yourself and we can all go back to sleep."
I shook my head no. There was NO WAY I was looking under there. "No way Dad," I said. "There is something under my bed. My bed MOVED! YOU look under my bed!"
My dad tried a couple more times to get me to look under my bed but I would not budge on the issue. Finally he said, "okay listen. How about I will look under your bed and make sure nothing is there and then you look under your bed and see for yourself. Then we can all go to sleep."
This sounded like a much more reasonable proposition and I agreed. So my dad walked over to my bed. Then he began lifting my bedspread to look under my bed all the while with his eyes fixed on me and saying in a teasing voice, "I'm looking under your bed. I'm looking under your bed..."
Just then the something under my bed reached out and grabbed my dad by the ankle. In one fail swoop my dad jumped completely out of my room and back into the hall with a surprised scream. That right there was the scariest moment of my life. Whatever it was under my bed and just made itself known and my dad had left me alone with it in my room.
Then I heard my older sister's laughter floating up from the floor. My dad, now FULLY awake, came back into my room and got my sister out from under my bed and into her own room.
I learned that night that when we face our fears they are often not as bad as we imagine. Sometimes the monster under your bed is just your big sister playing a trick on you.