The monster strikes at midnight

“Mommy! Mom! Help!”

Jolted awake, I sit up in bed. I look at the clock and think it must have been a dream. Just as I settle back onto my pillow, I hear the most frightening scream.

“Mom! Help me! I’m so scared. Where are you?”

The sound of his voice sends me bolting out my bedroom door. His panic and intensity scares me so much that I almost fall.

I look in his room and he isn’t there.

His voice sounds far away and I start to panic.

“Where are you?” I yell.

“Downstairs bathroom! Hurry mom! Help me!”

Heart pounding I leap down the stairs and run toward the bathroom. As I do, horrible images enter my head and it feels like an eternity until I reach him.

There he is. Sitting on the toilet. He is completely naked. Tears are streaming down his face and he is shaking.

“Why are you downstairs? What is wrong?” I yell.

My husband enters the bathroom right behind me. I hear my daughter calling out now from her bed.

“What is wrong?” I yell again.

“I was going to the bathroom and then this terrible, scary bug came at me,” he sobs. “I was screaming for you forever. I think it’s by the door now. I am so scared.”

We look near the door and see it.

Another fucking centipede.

You have to be kidding me.

I cradle him in my arms and calm him down.

“It’s OK,” I say. “Daddy will kill it. It’s just a bug. Your safe.”

My husband jumps into super protector mode and kills it with a broom. I gather it up with toilet paper and we flush it down the toilet.

I follow my boy into his bedroom. He grabs his panda, snuggles under the covers and slowly starts to settle down.

“Don’t you EVER do that to me again,” I tell him.

“Sorry mommy,” he says. “I was so scared.”

“I know love, I know.”

After his breath returns to normal and he is settled in, I quickly check on my daughter and head to bed.

The second I enter the safety of my room I start to laugh hysterically.

It’s just all so ridiculous.

In a matter of seconds the laughs turn into sobs.

Big, giant sobs that take me down.

My husband looks on in confusion, and I can’t explain it.

Sometimes it’s all just too much.

I spent my afternoon holding a dear friend who had fallen hard into the darkness and weight of depression and pain. It was a dark day and it scared me.

I know that feeling.

I fear it.

I pray it never returns.

I go to therapy every week to keep from letting it take hold of me again.

When I get home I see the news of the death of Robin Williams.

Bam.

Pow.

Ouch.

Here it is again.

Depression isn’t something to be taken lightly or that can be “willed away” by people who love you.

Sometimes all the good, wonderful things in the world aren’t enough.

The pain can be deeper and more pervasive than love.

I sit and weep for my friend, for others who have lost the battle and for myself.

After a few minutes I stop.

I go back to my son, grab him up and hug him hard. He returns it with full force.

“I love you so much,” I tell him. “You know that right?”

He smiles and makes his sweet little cooing sound.

“Yep. I love you momma.”

Today is another day.

cooper

NOTE: I have been humbled by all the love and support that has poured my way regarding “Exposed by my children for what I really look like.” I can’t answer all your emails, but know that I’m grateful to each and every one of you that have written me. May you all see your beauty and embrace it.

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I don’t like it one bit OR the attack of the killer centipede

Without considering the consequences, I hit the snooze button today. Twice. When I finally got up the panic hit me. I not only had extra things to do before leaving, but I needed to leave early today.

I quickly showered, dressed and was about to open my door when I heard the scream. I knew from the volume and pitch that my dearest daughter was not angry or hurt. She was scared. Really scared.

I had heard that same scream at 2 a.m. when she had a bad dream about a creepy doll that was dirty with antennas, yellow eyes and green skin. It was hours before either of us could get that image out of our heads. Yikes.

I opened the door and she leaped into my arms.

“What is it?” I said. She was shaking all over.

“Look!” she proclaimed and pointed at the wall behind me. There was the BIGGEST, MEANEST looking centipede ever. All its little legs and antennae were waving at us. It was crawling up the wall toward the ceiling. We would have to pass this bad boy to get downstairs to breakfast.

It made a quick lurch across the wall and we both shuddered and screamed.

Our complete panic awoke brother who came stumbling out of his bedroom putting on his glasses.

“What’s going on?” he asked and yawned.

“Look!” my daughter and I screech at the same time. At this point it turned the corner and was out of sight.

“Don’t let it get away,” my daughter yells and runs into her room and shuts the door.

I glance at the clock. Brilliant. We have to be out the door in 20 minutes. Both kids are in their underwear and I haven’t made breakfast or packed lunches.

Both children are now barricaded in their rooms and they will not budge until I proclaim the evil centipede dead.

Did I mention it was HUGE? And that I HATE killing things?

So I inch down the stairs keeping my eyes peeled. When I get to the bottom step I see it. It’s too high to kill, but I bend down and grab one of my husband’s shoes in anticipation of its quick movement. When I look back it’s GONE.

“You get it mom?” the kids yell from behind their closed doors.

“It went into the air conditioning vent,” I completely lie. “It will be killed when the air comes on.”

“Turn on the air,” my boy yells.

I head back up and force them both to get dressed. We now have to be out the door in 10 minutes. Neither child will walk down the stairs, so I agree to carry them down one at a time. They are 6 and 8, so carrying them together is too hard now. (Yes, I used to carry them both at the same time. Don’t ask.)

I take my daughter first. We get to the bottom and I set her on the last step. Just then, YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS, the STUPID centipede comes running at us across the carpet. Misses my foot by a centimeter.

You can bet I screamed. My girl dashed back upstairs and slammed her door all the while screaming, “you lied, you lied!!”

My boy also retreats back into his room screeching.

Sigh. I have to kill it and produce a dead body if I want my children to ever leave their rooms. I could freak them out and explain that centipedes hide everywhere and one might be IN their rooms. But, come on. I’m not cruel. Or stupid. And I’d love to sleep again.

So I arm myself with my husband’s enormous shoe and look for it. I figure it’s hiding under the shoe basket. I attempt to call my boy for help, but it’s not happening.

I kick the basket with one foot and prepare to pounce. The creepy thing scurries out and WHACK I get him.

“He’s dead,” I yell. But I’m not 100 percent sure. It’s dark in the hall and maybe he scuttled away. Please let there be a dead bug on the floor. Please.

“You sure,” they both yell opening their doors a bit.

“I think so,” I say not wanting to lie again. “Not positive. Let me turn on the other light and look.”

I’ve never been so happy to see something dead. Curled up it was quite small.

“I’m sure. Come and see.”

Nope. I still had to carry them down. One by one I show them proof of its death. Still refusing to set foot on the floor, I also carry them TO the kitchen table. They both sit with their feet off the floor.

Only 5 minutes to go. As they down bowls of cereal, I quickly pack their lunches and realize I have NO time to make coffee. Did you catch that? NO COFFEE.

I bring their shoes to the table, triple check them for bugs and then carry them out the front door. Because, obviously, they are NOT walking on the carpet ever again.

We make it to school on time and a friend buys me Starbucks. Not bad.

Now let’s just hope they will walk on the carpet after school.

Then again, my arms are getting flabby…