Thanks Dad

When I was a little girl we used to spend our Christmas vacations in Florida visiting close friends of my parents. And every year on our drive down south my father would remind me about swamp flutter monsters. You know swamp flutter monsters, that come out of the Florida mist and travel through the heating vents in people’s houses and feed on little children. I don’t ever remember being able to sleep on these trips but would just lay in bed terrified that the monsters would find me and I would wonder how much it would hurt when they ate me up.

It wasnt just when we where on vacation that my Dad terrorized me, when we where at home he was always telling me that I was not his real child, that I was switched at birth in the hospital. He would tell me that my real name was Pheobe Hackenbusch and that my Mother was cross-eyed, my father only had one ear and I had 6 brothers and sisters. He would tell me how poor the Hackenbusch’s where and how they lived in run down shacks we would often come across on the back roads of Pennsylvania. When I was being bad he would sometimes put me in the back of the car and drive to the closest run down shell of a house and threaten to leave me there.

I obviously survived my father’s twisted sense of humor but now that I am a Mother I realize how totally messed up this all was. I want a lot of things for Lucy – happiness, healthiness, financial security and MOST importantly to never be afraid of imaginary monsters or to worry that her parents are going to give her away to a large, poor family straight out of Dileverence.

We have a cat door cut into the door to our basement and sometimes my husband likes to stick his hands through it and be the “monster in the basement” and Lucy loves it, she goes running to the top of the basement steps squealing with laughter wherever she hears her Dad downstairs, but sometimes I worry if she lays in bed and wonders what other monsters are hanging out in the basement. And then I worry that maybe I’m projecting my own childhood fears onto her.

Is there no end to randomly weird stuff we as parents needs to worry about?

Footnote:
 I wrote this post in my head late last night while I was laying in bed unable to get to sleep – a little high on Nyquil wondering what the creepy noises I heard where coming from. It should be noted that in my head it was a lot funnier and not so sad about how I was tortured by my father as a small child. You can skim that part.

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