I looked around and fiddled and fidgeted in the dark, as little children do after being put to bed, waiting for the sandman.

I peeped over the edge of the bed, looked down, and much to my horror, I saw the white frilly bed skirt on my white, canopy bed…it was…it was….. Waaaasss it was moving? What was making it…very slowly,  into my 7 year old conscious, formed the following certainty:


Fast forward to what seemed to be an hour – because I was frozen with fear and nearly too afraid to cry – but was more like a couple of minutes. I suspect I sounded like the little girl in the movie ET when she found the creature in the closet.

My door opened, on flipped the light, and my Dad gathered me up in his arms and the monster promptly recoiled and went away to wherever under-bed-child-eating-monsters go.

After what I imagine was some major calming down and reassuring on his part, I reluctantly agreed to have the light off  under the condition that the door remain cracked to allow a slice of light in…

like this?”..”no, more.”…How about this?”….”no, more.”…”this?” ..”perfect Daddy. I love you.”

That was not his last venture into the pink room with the little girl with the white canopy bed with the monster waiting beneath.

On the wall to the right of the bed, hung an abstract print of an orange and yellow lion. My Dad told me that after I fell to sleep, that lion smiled a big, broad friendly smile and looked down with his sparkling eyes, watching over me all night – making sure I was safe and that my room was monster-less.

I used to get up on my knees on the bed, and flipped the light switch on the wall over and over to try to catch the lion in his smiling, sparkly eyed act.

Dad was right. Only in the dark.

I don’t don’t know when I stopped needing my lion. But a little girl, even one that’s 48, never stops needing her Daddy.

Thank you Dad. You’re the best monster chaser ever. And keep honing your craft. You’ll need it when your new grand child finds our family.

Happy Father’s Day!