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Where There’s Smoke...

When the boys moved in here, Doc wanted dark when he went to bed. Absolute dark. He even asked for tape over the smoke detector light. It being a new place, Kit was a bit less sure about that but he got used to it and that was fine. Then, last spring Debbie, their mom, was a victim in a tragic fire where children died. It was far away from here and the boys knew nothing about it. For some reason she decided to tell them all about it even though they knew no one in the house and would not know they were gone. I don’t know how detailed her description was but it terrified Doc. Why would you tell a five year old about children burning to death in fire?

Not surprisingly, he has been afraid of the dark ever since, thinking everything wispy is smoke, every noise is an alarm. It’s gotten so bad that he can’t sleep deeply anymore and noises wake him in the night so he gets up and makes sure all the lights are on. Yesterday in the grocery store he was wondering if my call from Tish was about a fire in our house. “No, she just wants me to pick up some special cheese.”

If Doc wakes up when Kit goes to bed there’s a struggle over how much light they can pour into the room. I curtained off a section for Kit last month but it wasn’t enough. After last night’s tantrum and tears at ten o'clock I decided to rearrange the room completely today. We’ll see how that works.

Sometimes, it’s not essential that you tell your children everything. Words can be as harmful as fire.