Scaring the Kids

They'll Probably Need Therapy Anyway


An Unexpected Guest on Our Afternoon Walk

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

Readers, I kid you not.

My kid saw something spooky in broad daylight. Well, waning daylight.

Now a quick disclaimer for credibility’s sake: While my kiddos know about my interest in the horror and the supernatural, it is a topic that only comes up occasionally in my house. When my kids ask, I answer their questions about the supernatural honestly, but with a pretty strong parental filter. I never ever want to actually scare them.

They’re 7 and 10 for crying out loud! Their threshold for horror is much, much lower than mine, and I think it might actually be even lower than a lot of kids their age. I watched an X Files with my oldest a year or so back, and she didn’t even make it to the end. (No, not the inbreeding one. What kind of parent do you think I am?)

All that to say, I’m very aware of the fact that little kids really want to live up to their parents’ expectations. If I am constantly showing my kids that I think scary things are cool and people who like scary things are especially cool, they may force themselves to sit through something they aren’t ready for just to seek my approval. Not good.

So, when my kids do ask me about the scary stuff, I give them a very filtered, very reassuring answer.

“Mom, are demons real?”

“Well, lots of things exist that we can’t see. Some of those things aren’t very nice. But don’t worry, God is always with you. Besides, they aren’t interested in you anyway.”

This happens to be the same logic I use when my kids refuse to go outside because there was a bee buzzing around the week before. The bees aren’t interested in you because they are looking for pollen. Now, go frolic so I can listen to my murder podcast in peace!

“Well, what happens if one tries to get me?”

“Don’t worry. It won’t. You have God and you have me, and nothing bad can get to you.”

Now, while that may be overly cheerful and simplistic, the fact of the matter is that you can’t have your kids worrying about demonic possession while trying to take a standardized test. I’m not sure if anxiety about the demonic falls under the mandatory reporter’s umbrella, but I don’t want to find out.

Anyway, bottom line is that while I do discuss spooky stuff with my kids, our conversations are far more Casper than Legion.

Did My Kid Really Just See a Ghost?

So, imagine my surprise when my oldest daughter and I were walking the dog and she suddenly said, “Whoa, there was a kid walking next to me.”

“What?”

“I saw a child walking next to me.”

“Now or before?” I had no idea what I meant by “before”, but she seemed to get it.

“No, now. I also had a headache and saw a mirror-me.”

It took some very non-pushy, neutrally-toned questions to get the whole picture, but what happened was this: in a quick moment, she felt a headache, looked to her side and saw an image of herself walking next to her on the sidewalk, and next to that self, another child was also walking.

“Are you remembering a time you were walking here with someone else?”

“No.” She was very annoyed at this point. She’s 10. She can tell the difference between a memory and the present and was starting to feel patronized. “She was smaller than me with long brown hair and a white shirt. I don’t know who she is.”

“Do you see her now?”

“No, it’s all gone. I still have a headache, though.”

Scariest Migraine Aura Ever?

While nothing scary actually happened, I am a little spooked. Some very interesting things happened all at the same time: the headache, the mirror-self, and the little girl. The little girl was walking and looking forward, and the mirror-image was doing the same. Both only lasted for an instant, but the headache remained.

Now, my kiddos are smart. You can only ask a question or two at most before they pick up on the fact that you are upset/scared/disturbed/mad about something. I knew that once I asked the basic “what did you see” type of questions, I was out of time. So instead, I talked about headaches and hydration. Then, I threw in a caution against too much sugar because, frankly, she seemed vulnerable and receptive at that moment.

I have migraines and have had them since childhood. I never had auras, though, until I was pregnant with my oldest, the very kiddo I happened to be walking with that afternoon. But those auras were really cool and would have been fun if they hadn’t made me think I was about to have a stroke and die before my child was even born. Gee, is it any wonder I had PPA?

But she doesn’t have migraines. She is, however, on the cusp of some pretty gnarly hormonal changes. In my general reading on the subject, I have come across the idea that supernatural activity picks up around puberty, but I don’t really know how much of this to believe. This is the kid who saw the lady in the window, though. She has also seen a couple of other things, though never enough for me to believe she has some sort of special sight or sensitivity. Or maybe my bar for that is far too high because of my general fascination with the paranormal. Who knows?

Whatever the case, it is a little spooky. Harmless? Probably. But because she takes all cues for when to panic and when to be cool from me, it’s just gonna be another walk around the neighborhood. With uninvited company. Totally normal. Ish.

I happen to have a lot of followers that are into the paranormal. Help a girl out! I’d love to know your take on the “mirror-self” my daughter saw that day. Was it part of the apparition in some way? What about the headache? Send any theories my way.

Until next time!

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