It's nice to know that other people have dirty showers, pick their cuticles, and get scared, too. Sometimes it feels like I am the only one.

When I moved into this new house, my night time fears doubled.

Years ago when the light would go out at night, I clenched my eyes tightly shut for as long as I could stand it. Upon opening them, I always hoped to be able to understand the shadows and figures that gathered in the corners of my room. Eventually this went away, though now and then I'd watch the ceiling, cetain that bad things were going to happen.

My first night here, I was alone. The children with R., and my mother still at the old place. By 4am I realized that sleep was going to be necessary, and as if I were a creature completely moved from its elemnt, began frantically looking around for someway to make myself feel safe. My plan, as silly as it seems, was to remove the slightly spooky Coraline picture from my desktop background, replace it with a lovely and peaceful picture of beach, add somewhere around 500 songs to my winamp list, light some candles, and go to sleep.

I did this, after checking and rechecking all doors and room and windows in the house several times, and feeling like a person with severe untreated OCD.

But eventually, dressed in the clothes I had worn that day, and with a phone in my hand, I fell asleep.

I can honestly say that now when I go to bed, I hope the doors are locked, and I turn off everything (including the montior which has had the beach picture replaced with the lovely picture Jan sent me) off, and go to sleep, phone on the charger.

There haven't been any nightmares in this house, and for me, that's a miracle. I only hope it stays that way.

And yes, the children still sing-song through the house, but my pirates have been replaced by superheros ("What power would you want, Mom??") and we still read at night and giggle in the mornings, even if we're out of syrup and have to eat oatmeal instead of waffles.

But when the superheros have fallen asleep, and I kiss their little cheeks, I still stare into the darkness, hoping no bad things are coming our way.

Fear, I am afraid, goes hand in hand with life.

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