In the middle of the night, H boy has repeatedly woke me up to express his fear of whatever seemed to cross his mind. Most recently, something under the bed. He asked me to get “the spray.”
Some genius mom out there on Pinterest developed monster spray, something to squirt to get the scary things out:
I’m not the high-performing mom, however, so the first time we encountered the “under the bed” fears I simply rummaged around in the closet until I found something. For instance, hearing aid cleaner. (For reals).
Our monster spray looks like this:
(Please don’t tell our audiologist that I’ve actually not ever used it for the intended purpose.)
So, this particular night the boy woke me from my slumber in authentic fear and pleaded for “the spray.” I faithfully fumbled through the closet and sprayed the whatever chemicals under his bed. His face gave way to immediate relief.
I don’t believe that he actually believes the spray kills off any monsters. (He probably doesn’t know it’s hearing aid cleaner, either. Until he learns to read.) I think he and I are actually operating on the same page in an unspoken manner: it doesn’t matter what’s in the bottle or what it supposedly does. He doesn’t want the bottle as much as he simply wants someone to do something to help.
He wants to feel acknowledged to the point of me leaving my cozy bed. He wants to feel validated to the end that includes action. Even when we both know the cause of his fear isn’t real, he wants to know that we both believe his feeling of fear to be legitimate.
I can get behind that. I don’t have to be right, but I need to be heard. As a person who frequently shares all of the thoughts, I don’t need unanimous agreement (though a little bit of agreement is nice), but I’m wanting those magical words – I understand.
And most of the time, being heard translates into action. It’s not about the dishes in the sink, but about your willingness to do them without being asked. It’s not the activity we engage in but rather the effort we took to get together.
Though we all know there’s nothing under there, true love rolls out of bed and gives it a squirt to ease the mind – and heart.