I know it’s been a long time bla bla.
But I had to share this, as I think many parents share this same weird brain process and not so many talk about it openly.
It’s called the dark fantasy, and it’s horrendous.
I believe it happens more often when your babies are, well, babies.
But it carries on happening. I once talked about it or read about it with someone and sensibly it said it was our inner way to deal with the possibility of tragic loss. You know, that loss none of us parents can even contemplate, that when you hear about it happening to an acquaintance, or a friend, you mourn for them and you feel for them, but you cannot go all the way, you cannot enter that dark world of the darkest possible possibility. Where one of your children is hurt, or worse. You know you can identify with them and feel their pain completely, but you refuse to.
But back to this morning’s amusing dark fantasy (yes, they can sometimes be amusing… afterwards).
I was having a bath. Maggie was in there with me, then Zoom (our dog) started barking. Normally I might just shush him but for a moment I thought it might be one of the plumbers I am expecting today who decided to arrive early. So I tell Maggie to go out so I can finish off my bath and I tell her I’ll be right out. As soon as she is out my brain lazily starts thinking “What if it wasn’t the plumber? What if it was a violent burglar?”. I have learnt to let these fantasies roll, and just let them come and go. Zoom had gone remarkably quiet. Then I heard Maggie (3 1/2) go “oh!” quite high pitched. Then, nothing. I froze an instant. My brain provided me with the horrid scenario of Maggie walking into the burglar who had just stunned Zoom. I thought “No. Who would want to scare a small child?”. Still no sound from Zoom. I was still frozen. Then, Zoom starts a low low howl. Saddest, lowest, a wolf’s cry of death. I pictured Maggie, with a snapped neck, and Zoom sitting next to her, distraught because he hadn’t been able to defend her.
I am out in no time, he still howls low. I put my robe on head in a towel and I open the door and trying to hide the terror in my voice call “Maggie?” and then I hear it: she was playing the harmonica. That must have been the excited “oh!” she had uttered. And when Maggie or anyone plays the harmonica, as all of us who know my dog know, Zoom howls the blues. For some scientific reason I am unaware of, the sound of the harmonica didn’t travel as far up as the bathroom, whereas only the howling did.
There, thank you for sharing today’s sheer moment of terror with me 🙂