It was about 3:30 am when I awoke to a very soft "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, save me Daddy".
"What's up Mr. Man?"
"Monsters Daddy, save me." He was standing just outside of our bedroom door. Afraid to go back to his room, afraid to come into ours.
We spent the next hour hiding under his covers until he went back to sleep. Me holding him close to keep the monsters away. I knew exactly how he felt.
I still have trouble sleeping most of the time. I often have horrible nightmares that stay with me for days. They started when I was young. They can be terrifying. So real at times it's hard to convince myself that it was only a dream.
When I was 6 years old I started have a reoccurring nightmare about a giant that would stomp on houses and snatch up the people trying to get away. When he got to our house he would duck down and peek through the window at me. I would run outside and hide behind the big oak tree. Just as I would look to see if he was still there I would wake.
I had that dream for years. It would play in my mind as if on a loop. Over and over and over. I can still see it as clearly today as could then. It has been some time since I had the dream but in a way, it still frightens me because I have never forgotten about it.
I felt helpless holding Mr. Man. Telling him (and myself) that monsters were not real was of little comfort. Because in your mind, they are real.
The world can be such a truly ugly place. I want to shield him from the violence and hate that surround us. Those things have no place in the mind of a child. Or even in the mind of an adult. There is no place in our world for such things. Where do such things even come from?