For a child who is remarkably self-assured it’s curious that Lexi also has a plethora of fears, ranging far and wide (and even into some territory where I just scratch my head and wonder “Huh?”) for better or for worse. Of course, though, she has no fear of strangers, and will indeed tell them her life story if given a chance in the line at Wal-Mart. She also isn’t afraid of failure, even though in many ways she’s a perfectionist. But the things she fears she REALLY fears. It’s like she freezes solid when the subjects even come up.
And it’s at those moments that she reminds me of… me.
Me: Lexi, I need you to go upstairs to put away the toys you got out.
Lexi: But Dad, I CAN’T GO UP THERE.
Me: Why not? It’s just for a minute to put those toys away.
Lexi: But I’m SCARED.
Me: There’s nothing to be scared of. Your mother and I are right down here.
Lexi: But I’m still SCARED. I don’t want to go up there.
Me: Well, you got out the toys, so you need to put them away. You’re going to have to go up there anyway.
Lexi: I can’t do it. I JUST CAN’T.
Me: What are you afraid of, though? Why are you so scared to go up there by yourself?
Lexi: Because she’s up there.
Lexi: The gh-gh-ghost.
Me: Oh my. Lexi, ghosts aren’t real.
Lexi: You don’t know that!
Me: Uh, yeah, I know that. Ghosts aren’t real. And even if they were they can’t hurt you.
Lexi: That’s not what they say on Teen Titans.
Me: Lex, Teen Titans isn’t real either.
Lexi: But she’s REAL. Her name is Marisa, and she lives here with us.
Me: Hmmmm. How do you know her name?
Lexi: She told me.
Me: And you’re still afraid of her?
Lexi: Yesssss. I’m scared! Ghosts are scary.
Me: This one doesn’t sound so scary. I mean, if you know her name, maybe she wants to be friends.
Lexi: Dad. Really? Friends with a ghost. That’s silly.
Me: Sounds like she just wants to hang out and make S’mores.
Lexi: MAKE S’MORES?! Daddddd. She’s a ghost. She doesn’t want to make S’mores. She wants to scare me.
Me: But why? Can’t this be a friendly ghost, like Casper?
Lexi: Uh, who’s Casper?
Me: He’s the friendly ghost. Of course.
Lexi: Dad, that’s too silly. There are no friendly ghosts.
Me: How do you know? Her name’s Marisa. Maybe you can find out some other things you have in common.
Lexi: Because we both have names?
Me: Exactly! Now you’re thinking, Lex.
Lexi: Grrrrrrr. Dad, you’re not taking me seriously.
Me: I’m taking you as seriously as I can, considering you believe a ghost is going to eat you if you go upstairs.
Lexi: I didn’t say she was going to eat me, Dad! I’m just scared of going up there.
Me: And I’m scared of the dark, but watch me turn these lights off and deal with it.
Lexi: If you turn the lights off I’ll go upstairs.
Me: [turning off the light] See, it’s not so bad.
Lexi: Yeah, now I’m scared of the dark too. Thanks, Dad!
Me: No problem. Now go upstairs. And tell Marisa I said hi.