When I was a little guy, there was nothing more frightening than waking up in the middle of the night and seeing my closet door drift open. It happened a few times, probably due to some freaky combination of air pressure and a closet door that hadn’t quite been closed all the way.
To me, though, it presented a terrifying dilemma. Should I stay in bed and hope that whatever’s in the closet stays in the closet, or should I charge across the darkness and close the door before it’s too late?
Remembering that battle, I’ve always been careful to make sure my sons’ closets are closed when I tuck them in at night.
A month or so ago, I stuck my head into my youngest son’s room to say goodnight and noticed his closet door was open.
“Yikes,” I said. “Didn’t Momma close it?”
“Na.” He shrugged. “I don’t care.”
“Don’t care?! You can’t sleep in a room with an open closet!”
“Daddy, it’s just a closet.”
“I’m serious.” He clearly did not understand the danger he was in, so I walked to the closet, and reached over to close the door. Instead of closing it, though, I jerked it open and fell backwards, screaming “Aaah!”
He sat bolt upright in bed. I’m not sure, but I think I saw a little bit of fear in those wide round brown eyes. Then he threw a pillow at me. “Da-addy!”
We both laughed and I left him sleeping peacefully with a closed closet.
Since then, it’s become an on-going challenge. Every night, I close his closet door. Every night, it almost kills me.
Last night, as I started to close his closet door, something grabbed my arm and pulled me halfway into the closet. There was a loud bang and I collapsed to the floor, clearly and obviously killed by whatever was in his closet.
Shortly after that, I felt a pillow hit my legs. “Da-addy! You’re not scaring me.”