At night, I would run into my parents room if I had a dream haunted by a Gremlin or Witch, hoping to be welcomed by my Mom's healing embrace. But before she could even extend an invitation for me to climb up next to her, my Dad was leading me back to my room, back to my bed. He would nestle me under the covers, pat my back, and sooth me into a sweeter slumber.
I often wonder what Mary dreams about at this young age. I have to imagine her stuffed bunnies and bears make appearances. There's likely lots of milk and a couple tea cookies from Kirschbaums. Chalk and crayons, red and yellow leaves, Dora and Diego, buses, trucks, trains, and bikes. Oma and her potato pancakes.
Mommy's icing. And the layers of pumpkin cake inside.
Walking and running with Nanny and Opa in the forest, crossing bridges, and quacking like the duckies.
However, for the past three weeks, I've been alerted by a scream in the middle of the night to something else entering my little girl's dreams.
You might think or so I thought, she's one and a half, how does she know what ghosts are? And how does she understand that they are scary?
Every year, the suburban execution of Halloween seems to get more petrifying. The collection of skeletons in everyone's California Closets expands and by October 1, there is a mad dash to spew as much blood and gore on professionally pruned lawns as possible. I don't get it. And quite frankly, I'm getting mad about it.
Ironically, it was Opa, or the Notre Dame Leprechaun that Mary calls, 'Opa' that saved the day the past two nights. She demanded that he come to bed with her, and just like that, he used his Irish heritage to fight off the ghouls trying to get into Mary's crib.
To set expectations for the rest of the babies and toddlers on the block. You will never find scares at the White House. Just treats. And they will always be the king size ones.