It's Halloween. Time to admit what scares me: nighttime driving on the gravel road directly south of my dad's farm. Here's the reason.
I was in the backseat dozing after a Sunday evening in town with Mom and Dad. We'd often go in to visit relatives or to hear my sister Priscilla sing in "The Power and Light," a Christian singing group from the Huron Mission Church that performed in the Lewis Drug parking lot.
I heard footsteps on gravel and Dad asking someone if he needed help. The voice grunted a reply.
Dad returned to the car with a report. "He's lost, but he said to leave him alone. Doesn't want any help."
Our car lights shined on a lug wrench in the middle of the road and an open trunk as Dad drove on the shoulder to get by the vehicle. It was dark already, so I didn't see the man.
But I sure did that night in my dreams and every time I woke up because I had heard Dad say the fella's name and that the guy was drunk.
This man lived a few miles from our place, and he was obviously confused, so my pre-teen brain imagined him getting passed our dog and mistaking our house for his and yelling his daughter's name up the stairway to me. And when I wouldn't come, he'd drag me down thinking I was his disobedient daughter and beat me up.
I never dreamed or imagined my parents intervening, or our dog taking care of him. A child's imagination and fears are not rational to adults.
But this adult still refuses to drive down that road at night. I go the long way around.
What incident stands out as a scary memory that impacts your behavior now? Do your child's fears change your routine?