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The migration alarm clock went off a few days ago, and all the geese and ducks s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out their necks and shook their wings and took off, in great wavering ropes of v's. Once again, I think they are all going the wrong way, but who am I to argue with the geese? Martin counts them and with each progressively longer string of birds, gets more and more excited that winter is on the way.

Yesterday, after being put to bed on time, bathed and brushed and read to, and tucked in at 8 p.m., Martin could not get to sleep. He usually reads books until around 9 when I come in and tell him that's enough, put the book down, it's time to go to sleep. Last night at 10 I had to do it again, because he was still awake when I came in to turn his light off. A little bit later he came into the computer room, where I was working and said he couldn't fall asleep because he couldn't stop thinking about "scary things."

A bit of digging on my part revealed that he had read some scary book at school earlier that day and it was that he couldn't stop thinking of. All the books he had read after getting into bed hadn't helped. We talked a bit, and we got his stuffed dog to snuggle with, and I propped the last book he was reading up beside the bed and told him to look at that until he could fall asleep. After a few more reassurances and kisses, I left the room.

15 minutes later he was crying, and when I went back in his room, said it didn't help! Nothing helped! Final solution: Call Grandma Linda in America and let her talk to him. THAT worked, and he finally conked out.

This morning I was informed by a solemn-faced little boy that ghosts are just souls that miss us and want to be near us and don't know where to go. They aren't mean or evil or scary, even though movies and TV might portray them so. I know we went through something similar before Halloween last year as well. No scary pumpkin faces or scary costumes for Martin! He still remembers the fright he had when he was 3 years old at the AWC Halloween Party when a very tall man in a scary dinosaur suit loomed over him and frightened the bejeezus out of him before pulling off his mask and apologizing and introducing himself as Michael.

Martin still remembers Michael. I hope that he also remembers the reassurances that Grandma gave him last night, and that these night fears ease.

To Do List: Finish ATC's for swap and mail them, finish painting new art desk, edit verian's poetry, pick up AWC directory from printer, edit photos for family website, finish AWC website, do AWC newsletter, carve pumpkins!
mood: sympathetic
music: Joy Division - Heart and Soul


I can sympathize with Martin-- although I love Halloween, last night I was feeling the "scared" vibe, too. Maybe it was something in the air? ~bluepoppy

Very likely. I remember this happening right before Halloween last year, it's probably the general atmosphere.

Hmmm... sounds similar to a thing that happened to me. My mama used to drive me around to different neighbourhoods to get the Halloween Haul. It was great, because she used to dress up too. I think she was still excited to be doing the Halloween thing and having a kid as an excuse to be excited. So, when I was 4, she pulled into this house that was all done up with Halloween decorations, but it had a long long driveway (to a 4 year old). She said she'd wait for me in the car (we were on the way to our second neighbourhood of the night), and had spotted this house. I was apprehensive and remember the howling music that was playing (probably a haunted house soundtrack tape or something). The driveway was long and dark... the creaking and screaming and howling of the 'music' was SERIOUSLY creeping me out. The house was well-lit and had jack o' lanterns and loads of other decorations near the door. I scurried up cautiously but wanting to rush it, because the music REALLY was freaking me out and all I wanted was to be in the car with my mama. Just as I was about to mount the first step up to the door, a green-masked adult with 'blood' all over his shirt leapt out of the bush next to the walkway and shouted/roared and weilded some weapon. I SCREAMED and have NEVER ran so fast in my life. I was properly terrified. He chased me practically to the car. My mother was REALLY angry because I almost wet my pants and was inconsolable in the car. She tried explaining that it was just a man being silly (my dad would've done a similar thing I'm sure!), but I didn't hear any of that. I just felt terror. She even was going to get out of the car to talk to him, but then I REALLY started screaming. She couldn't leave me on my own!!! I couldn't stop shaking. I refused to leave the car until we got home and had to be coaxed out to visit even my own grandparents' house - my grandma understandably always wanted to see my costume.

My mama had to bribe me to go out the next year, and she didn't leave my side the whole night. I do wonder if she ever went and had 'words' with the owner of that house. I suspect she may have.

He's right about ghosts though. But surely, that would make them less scary, if they're just souls that are lonely, then there's no harm or reason to worry that they're bad. I hope he's okay. Giving him something as a 'protective' talisman might be an idea. Something that symbolises modernity - a flashlight? Something personal like his doggy? Maybe something from his grandma? That could help.

Oooh, the flashlight is an excellent idea. That way, he can't feel like he's being a baby if he has a night light, because flashlights are kind of grown up and cool. You DO have some killer ideas!

We've tried the flashlight before, but he doesn't actually need or want it because he turns his bed light on if he wakes up in the dark...a protective talisman of some kind is a great idea, though :)

Good lord, how completely awful!! :( Some people have no judgement! I can't imagine what would have possessed that guy to terrify a single little girl :( What a terrible story. :( Martin's experience wasn't quite that bad, although it certainly did leave an impression. I like the protective talisman idea, although he doesn't really need or want a flashlight (we've tried that, actually), since he usually just turns his bed lights on if he wakes up at night and he falls asleep with them on as well.

I hope your Halloweens have improved since you were a child!

awww..poor martin! i remember the fears i had as a child (ok sometimes i still get a little spooked). I would often think that something was hiding underneath my bed waiting for a limb to dangle over the edge. Naturally I huddled into a ball, hid under the covers and kept all my parts a safe distance from the edge :)

I used to do that, too :)

Remember Calvin and Hobbes and the "things" under the bed? So much of childhood is idealized by grown-ups and yet I remember so much of it being full of fears of some sort or another.

I don't necessarily think that changes as you grow up and grow older, though. So much of being an adult is fears and worries, too. It's finding a balance that is important. It's NOT ALL fears and worries!


I loves that you loves my dawg. But what about those Meese? xo Wee

Oh goodness! I forgot! I'll write about the meese tomorrow, promise!

Oh my. Childhood fears.
There were alligators and quicksand under my bed, but only when the light went out. And all those shadows on the walls, especially when a car went down the street with headlights on and I wasn't asleep yet.
And then the time when we were visiting my grandparents. My young aunt had been combing my hair and I'd been giving her a bit of trouble. Unknown to the adults, she told me that if I messed up my hair a witch would come and get me.
I fell asleep before we left. It was dark. My Dad carried me out to the car and went back in to get my sleeping sister while my Mom was saying her goodbyes. In that short time I woke up in the car in... the dark... alone... and FREAKED OUT because a witch was going to come and get me. Of course my hair would be messed up by laying on it asleep.
I don't remember how my parents got me through that one, but I can still remember the feeling of the hallway wall under my hand as I ran it along the whole way to their room the numerous times I sleepily went in the middle of the night to crawl in with them.
The flashlight is an excellent idea. My children each had one by their beds. Also what helped for my daughter who had nightmares was
1) telling her that she had control over her dreams and could wake up whenever she wanted to. A person simply needs to believe this strongly enough and they can train themselves to do it. Next is that the dream is like a movie, and we CAN change it. My daughter did learn how to, but more often she just woke up and came into my room.
2) a dream catcher above the bed and a story about how it can catch the unwanted dreams and hold them back.

Sounds like Grandma did a whole lot of good. Keep emphasizing that at appropriate moments

Thank the heavens for grandmas!!

The dream catcher is an EXCELLENT idea. I wonder where I can find one of those around here. Maybe I'll add that to Martin's Christmas list for him!! And no kidding about thank the heavens for grandmas! I couldn't do it without them! (or Anders)

dream catcher

If you can't find one in Sweden, then go to China.. oopps, thats not what I meant to say [that was some other smart ass speaking]

If you can't find one over there it shouldn't be too hard to make one if you can google a photo. OR maybe Grandma will send one?
My 19yr old still keeps hers hanging over her bed.

Dream Catcher/Dream Chaser

My daughter and I used to chase away bad dreams before she went to bed by spraying a shot of Lysol or other room deodorizer in key locations (like her closet, under the bed, toward the window). We made a little ritual out of it: holding hands, we'd decide where the spray needed to go and we'd shout "SKEEEEE-DADLE!!" to the bad dreams/other scary stuff. We'd always end up laughing as she got tucked in. The lingering smell of the room spray reminded her that she was safe as she fell asleep.


Re: Dream Catcher/Dream Chaser

What a great idea, Geena! Thank you! :)

three cheers for Grandma :)

Poor Martin :( I sympathize, our oldest has these issues too. He's scared of painted faces & masks, this time of year he keeps the night light on.

You may be able to find a dream catcher through this group,they may be able to give you a name of an artisan in your area.

Or They do hire Native Americans/First Nations people & some live here in Sweden.

Hope this helps :)

Re: three cheers for Grandma :)

Man, I love this community! Thank you so much for the links!!


Bryce has taken to going to sleep under the bed so the "monsters" can't get him. I suppose if he is under there then they very well can't be. So we had the talk about them being spirits who miss us too and told him to tell them to go to the light. and he says they do. In his excited little boy voice. Aren't our little monsters the best kids???? Ok well yours anyway. : ) Love your Beeg little sis

And so the journey begins, Martin on his way to adulthood. I remember doing that when I was a kid too, but I never would talk to my parents about it, how lucky is Martin? Lucky as a ducky!

Oh the sweet thing!!! Horrible feeling, i remember those feelings from childhood, I'm so glad Grandma could reassure him :(

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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