I Can’t See You, Daddy…
Ben has suddenly, and by that I mean in the last week, become afraid of the dark.
In a way I blame “Super Why?” since they’ve done at least two different episodes recently that deal with having the problem of being afraid of the dark at night. I guess if a masked gigantic eyed green bug looking critter flew into my room in the night, I’d be a little scared too.
I have never really been all that afraid of the dark, mostly because for pretty much my whole life I have been blind as a bat. Okay, not quite blind, but 20/600 means that sans spectacles I pretty much see the world as variously colored blobs, which at night means that I see about 50 Shades of Grey blobs (pah-dump-pish).
In fact, when I was trying to qualify on the M-16, the targets were some 200 yards away, which is outside of my visual detection range. So instead of really trying to actually hit my target, per se, I was just “having fun” unloading 7.62 rounds as fast as I could in the general direction of downrange. Staff Sergeant Carr walked up behind me (I was prone) and literally kicked me in the ass, screaming, “What the (really bad word deleted) are you shooting at, Bowman?”
What really freaked him out was the next day when I aced the night (really dark) .45 Pistol combat course. I couldn’t see the M-16 Targets, but the dark didn’t bother me at all. If the had put me on the range at night, I would have aced the M-16 course too.
So it was a little weird to me when Ben, who has never been afraid of the dark before, suddenly became terrified when the lights went out for bedtime. He would cry and fight, he really got upset by it. You never really know how powerful your love for a child is until they look at you with tears in their eyes and a trembling voice says, “Daddy, please turn the light on…”
Last night was no different, although Ben had been a little sick most of the day and so was extra grumpy. He was asleep when I turned out the lights at midnight and turned in myself. At 2:30am he was awake and crying, “Daddy, I am scared of the dark. Please turn the light on.”
I held him for a moment and assured him that I was there.
“Daddy,” he said, “I can’t see you.”
Ben is still too young to take it on faith that I am there for him. And I am too old to not want him to be assured that I am.
The light stayed on all night.