Then I started thinking about monsters. Even as an adult, and I believe this is true for many people, I am occasionally made nervous by noises in the night. Particularly noises I can't identify and especially if I am home alone. There have also been times when I would swear I heard footsteps in the hall and it is only the grown-up part of my brain chanting "There is nothing in the house there is nothing in the house there is nothing in the house." That keeps me from springing from my bed, grabbing my cell phone and either going to investigate or hiding under the bed.
Now if I'm wrong and it is only me that has these moments. . .
well y'all just got a frightening peek inside my brain and may better understand why I write children's books.
So, back to my story, I was washing dishes and contemplating the monster under the bed and wondering how I would ever convince my daughter that there was nothing scary under her bed or in the closet, when I couldn't even fully convince myself.
The answer is- I don't think I can. I think we as a species are naturally afraid of the dark. I think this is innately a good thing as it keeps us from traipsing down dark alleys and from plunging unprepared into caves.
So what do I tell my kid? I use the fear as a teaching opportunity for one of the basic lessons about fear that we all need to understand: Just because something is unknown, doesn't mean we should fear it. Perhaps we should be cautious, but not afraid. We have to discover things that at first seem frightening. That is how we learn and grow.
Put simply: If there is a monster under the bed, what makes you think it's a bad monster?
And that question became the basis for my book, Boomsnickle. If you could be brave, despite being afraid, maybe you would learn something new about the world, something new about yourself and maybe even make a new friend.
I hope Boomsnickle helps Jordan be less afraid. With any luck, it will help other kids be brave, too. And, as a mommy, that is what I really want.