My 8 year old went to sleep with a flashlight.
He’s never been afraid of the dark. He has a nightlight, but he’s never one to think monsters were hiding under his bed. Except something has changed.
He still doesn’t fear monsters. That’s not what’s hiding in the shadows of his room. Instead, they’re miniature stickmen. Jumping from his toy chest and lunging towards him in galloping leaps.
And of course, all of this had to happen at midnight.
“I saw something”, Jedi whispered to me, coming in my room as I was just about to close my eyes after a long day. “It was a little stick man”, he relayed in detail, then demonstrated its striding movements.
“Go back to bed”, I replied, unsympathetically I realize.
“I can’t. I don’t want the stickman to jump out at me again. Can I sleep with you?”
So I told him I had a better idea. “Take this flashlight”, I instructed while walking him back to his room. “If you see something move, just shine it on whatever it is. It’ll disappear and you’ll see there’s nothing to be afraid of.”
Every night since, he’s gone to sleep with that flashlight. But he hasn’t seen the stickman since.