Boys take control over the unknown, the frightening, by embodying their foes. By acting out scenes, and experimenting with thier fears, they learn how to conquer them. I read it somewhere, long ago, back when I was overwhelmed with one child.
Andrew never did it really. But, I excused so many of my friends' boys for dressing up as Darth Vader. We all read the same article, way back when our first children were small.
George is not my first child. So, why am I surprised? Always surprised. When I turn off my light at night, my heart cannot allow them to become one day older. No, not even one day. The next morning I am always suprised.
Gladys ran through the kitchen, shrieking in mock fear, with George at her heels.
I laughed. They ran through again, then again.
"I'm going to get you! I'm cancer!!"
"You can't dooo that," Gladys protested, "Cancer is a disease. You can't SEE it."
I looked at them both, then turned away, hoping my feelings didn't escape through my eyes.
"What does cancer look like? Hmm. Interesting question . . . " I spoke into the air, in that lame, parental, not-knowing-what-to-say sort of way. He picked the scariest thing. He picked something that frightens adults.