The door opened, and someone peered it-- I can't remember who. was it my grandma, or grandpa-- but I remember their words as if they were saying them to me right now.
"Baby, don't put your feet behind the bed, the rats will eat your toes"
forget the monsters under the bed that may or may not have been real-- what was real was RATS... my kindly old grandparent-- whichever one it was, would NEVER lie about them!
Over the years other things joined me under the bed. Jaws. The Creature of the Black Lagoon, And a Revelle model T Rex with glow in the dark teeth, claws and eyes.. (though i could put the actual model in the closet-- his spirit would haunt my under the bed) And I was ever fearful that hanging any part of my body over the bed would result in it most assuredly being eaten or snatched off without mercy.
In fact, the fear lasted until I went away to college and was only defeated after I became a Christian and one night I turned off the lights, dashed to the bed, drew the covers up to my neck and reminded myself "I know the Creator of the universe, and there is no reason to be afraid." and at that, the rats, shark, creature and Dinosaur vanished in a puff of faith.
I have often heard parents make the statement that they are giving their child something about which they can talk to their therapist, when they make some parental executive decision-- as if being a human parent was going to be the child's later adult neurosis... but in thinking about what became my demon from childhood-- an idle phrase of love and protection combined with my overactive imagination was my undoing-- NOT my grandparents.
so-- yeah, to my friends who are parents-- you may give your child things to discuss with their counselors in later life-- but it may not be because of what you think, so my advice to you (having no kids of my own) lighten up on yourselves, and don't second guess so much. Just make all of your choices in love like my grand parents did-- and let God sort out and heal the missteps. if your family life is characterized by care and warmth, even though there be rats under the bed, they will remember you when you're long gone with joy and a smile. (the way my grandparents are forever cemented in my mind)
Besides, who knows-- your child may not go to a therapist after all... they may start a blog.
My friend Julie posted on her wall about her child "I don't want to get on the potty train!!!!!!!!" and I thought it was hilarious. When I mentioned it to her she said that she had told her daughter that they were going to start potty training and that were her child's response... Who knows how long it will take THAT to get undone-- but then again, it always comes back to the potty now doesn't it?