Last night I was single-mama putting the the three kiddos to bed while Doug was at Fuller remembering how to do Greek Exegesis. It was getting late and Elijah, who is typically my very easy little guy at bedtime, simply could not settle down and go to sleep. After all the normal bedtime routines of stories and prayers and songs and that one particular way he likes his blankets to cover him, I shut off the light and closed the door.
It was barely a breath later that Elijah began to scream, and I ran back into his room to find him sitting up looking terrified. “Elijah, what is wrong?” I asked him.
“When you turned the light on (he gets his opposites confused) and closed the door, there was a monster in my room,” he sputtered.
I reassured him that there were no monsters in the house and that monsters aren’t real, and I closed the closet door just in case there were any shadows inside that might frighten, and I prayed for him. Then I shut off the light and again closed the door.
There were a few moments of quiet while I attended to the squirrelly siblings in the room beside his, but then the screaming resumed.
When I entered his room the second time, he was again sitting up with tears running down his cheeks. “Elijah, what happened? Why are you crying?” I asked.
He sputtered: “When you turned the light on and closed the door, there was a second monster.” He looked at me gravely. “And a fifth monster.”
My attempts to push back the smile failed, and I laughed while I again sought to soothe him. I was dying to ask him about the third and fourth monsters, but opted for a simple cuddle instead.