“Mom, are there really no monsters in our house?”, my daughter asked of my wife. She paused for a second. “No, sweetie. There are NO monsters in this house.” The two year old thought about it for maybe half a second before another thought took hold as she raced off in the direction of her bouncy rubber balls. We all have stupid stuff about us that we actively try to not pass down. I remember being terrified of the dark for most of my childhood. It was the product of an imagination without a master. Like a gerbil on crack and taken out of its cage, it would go anywhere and everywhere. But it seemed to prefer the darker corners. And if she turns out like me then I already know that there will come a time where there is absolutely nothing I can say or do to convince her that there is nothing with sharp teeth in her closet; the large, glassy eyes you thought you saw open for a second under your bed, the moving shadow, and the tapping on the window will all spin around in her head until she is convinced that a supernatural force will end her life that night. The next day Jennifer and I will sulk around the house, “We should have believed her about the ghosts!”. But maybe she won’t be like me. Maybe she won’t bring a bat or a He-Man sword into bed with her every night.
Then, towards the end of elementary school or junior high (me), you start to get accustomed to the dark. The tapping is just the wind blowing the tree branch against the window. Those eyes were a couple of baseballs leftover from SVAA practice. Your thoughts turn from monsters to people you want to hook up with, music, and what’s cool. They leave you for a while.
Once you get out of school and into the real world they come back. But this time they don’t have sharp teeth, at least not in front of you. Their large, glassy eyes are replaced by human ones, but the maliciousness behind them is the same. And they will bite you. Believe me, at least one will bite you real hard. But the trick is to not be mad at the monsters. Just steer clear and judge people by what they do and not what they say (or blog about). Know that the monster is a human, just like you. Maybe it was a misunderstanding. Or maybe they were raised by monsters or hurt by a monster. Who knows. But they need your empathy and compassion, just don’t give them any flesh to bite down on. So yes, little girl, there are monsters. Just not the ones you know about yet. Some might come along in the form of a cute boy, someone you thought was a friend, or a stupid kid that breaks into your house when you are asleep at 3am. They will be around. But as long as you are in my care I will give everything I have to make you safe. After that it is up to you to locate the monsters. Read their eyes, not their mouths.
The Toadies – Tyler