Children feel safer when a parent reads them a story and tucks them into bed. The things that go bump in the night are not quite so scary. Mommy or Daddy says not to worry. They’re right there to make sure everything will be alright.
In some ways we are children till the day we die. We feel anxious about our security. Fear still grips us when the sirens blare in the night.
Sometimes children are exposed all day long to the threats to their well-being. They need a parent’s or grandparent’s reassurance. They need the security of knowing that Mommy or Daddy is stronger than whatever might go bump in the night.
As we grow older we learn the difference between real and false reassurance. We know that there is no one to tuck us into bed anymore. But nostalgia for fairy tales and for the parent who will make us safe lingers on. And the candidate who both scares us during the day with stories of the boogieman and tucks us into bed with a fairy tale about himself as the hero gathers the children to himself.
The nightmare is just a few winks away.
- Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, September 22, 2016