Kate posted something this week about kiddie fears being worse than adult fears.
And I get that--my brother convinced me that Dracula lived in our attic. My bedroom door was closest to the attic, so when the night came when Dracula walked down the stairs instead of flying out the window..... Egggh. My back sweats just thinking about going up those stairs.
And I can't think of too many things which freak me out in the same way as an adult. It is weird that this emotion shifts over time.
But when I was pregnant with my third child, some switch in my psyche flipped and I started a recurring dream which gives me the willies all day the morning after I've had it. (I didn't have it last night--thank God--I'm still a little giddy from my comments page last night. But I was thinking about fear this morning nonetheless.)
In the dream I'm driving my car with the three kids. The infant is in her car seat, the toddler in his, and the oldest child is in a seatbelt. I'm driving on a bridge high above some inlet on the bay. Slowly and gently the car leaves the lane and crashes over the side of the bridge. I don't fight it much--it's obvious the car is going over no matter how much I fiddle with the wheel.
Now the car is floating in the air, drifting towards the water so slowly that I have plenty of time to think about what is going to happen. The car is going to hit the water, and I'm going to have to get all three kids out of the car, and only one knows how to undo a seatbelt, and none of them swim. What do I say? Sophie's Choice: do I concentrate on helping the eldest because she's more likely to be able to swim with me? Do I tell the eldest how to get out of the car before we hit the water and help the youngest once we're in the water? Can I get all three to the surface? I wake up well before the car hits the water and run various scenarios through my mind for the rest of the day. Yeccch.
This is the one fear I have as an adult which is just as sickening as any trembling encounter with a dark closet when I was six.