When You Need the Ear Monster

When I was a young girl, I couldn’t fall asleep if my ears were not covered. I believed in the Ear Monster, and the Ear Monster tore off all the exposed ears of sleeping children. So I slept with my covers pulled tightly over half my head.

I shared a room with my sister at the time, and I remember being absolutely blown out of my mind that not only did my older sister sleep with her ears uncovered, but she also slept facing the wall, leaving her back exposed to the outside. Another big no-no for me.

We slept in separate twin beds, pushed up against walls directly across from each other. The wall on my side was my safety, my shield. If I wanted to lie on my side, I had to lie so my back faced the wall–always. To lie the other way, with my back facing open space, meant that any monster under my bed, or in my closet, could have sneaked up on me and snatched me from my bed, and I’d never see it coming.

I needed to feel prepared, facing the direction of any possible incoming attacks from the monsters that only came out at night. I must have scared them off with my ready-to-defend-myself position because they never came after me one time –not once.

I had forgotten for a long time about the Ear Monster, but I thought of my childhood nemesis when I remembered my college Creative Writing professor, who had once instructed the class I was sitting in to look to children for inspiration when we were struggling to write because children have highly imaginative and creative minds.

My professor was right. My childhood imagination ran amok, especially at night.

I am currently writing my third book, a book I had planned to have completed months ago. I’m near the end, but for the past few weeks I’ve been getting stuck in certain places, unsure of the path to take the story while on my way to the ending I’ve already written. You can say I’m blocked.

I need my old childhood imagination. I need the Ear Monster.

 

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Photo courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

My “Is It Summer Yet?” Blog

Queer Town Abbey Invites You

to Get a Jump on the Season

As a kid,  summer was what I waited for, longed for. The anticipation was as exciting as waking up on a Saturday morning, and tossing the covers to the side as I hurried to watch my favorite cartoons (because that was the only time cartoons were on. We didn’t have 175 channels for kids back then).

I counted the days until the last day of school and as soon as it became warm enough to open the windows in class, only my body remained in session because my mind completely checked out.   I’d daydream about all the adventures (trouble) I’d get into and with the help of a great childhood best friend, we did just that.

Everyday we’d go to the Park District pool, get kicked out of the Park District pool, sneak into places we never should have been, and ride our bikes around town while searching for new places to make into our “hideout” that only we knew about. We enjoyed a freedom that most kids don’t get to experience today because we didn’t have cellphones that would allow us to be tracked down by our parents at any given moment. If they needed us, they had to wait until we got home (and I always made it a point to ignore when the streetlights came on because I hated that rule).

Now, my side-kick is gone – married with kids – but I still count down the days for school to be out, but not for me, for my kiddies, because they are the ones I now take with me on my adventures. They are my “side-kicks” now and our “adventures” usually take us to the South Side – to Sox Park – for a Sox game.

But we don’t just “go” to Sox games. We “travel” there. I have a Sox  CD burned with songs that can only be listened to while driving to a Sox game and it is put on at a specific point in our destination because a certain song must be playing the second the stadium comes to view. It’s a beautiful moment.

We also don’t just “attend” a game. We “experience” it. There are food items I am only allowed to eat when I am with my nephew because we tasted it the first time together and it has become our tradition to eat it together. Seriously, on the way to the game he’ll ask me what inning we should eat our favorite food. If I dare attend a game without them (and believe me, this instance is treated like a treacherous scandal) I am questioned later if I ate said food. “No, I did not,” I’d always respond. (Okay, one time I did but I am gluten-free and therefore am VERY limited in my options at the ballpark, so I need some slack).

My favorite summer memories revolve around baseball, but for far more reasons than just the sport of it. It’s sentimental to me. I hold close to me very fond memories of watching games with my father, who passed away 18 years ago. It’s how I became a fan in the first place.

One day a little girl walked into her living room and her father was sitting on the couch with a game on.  She sat beside him and watched the first of what would become many, many games with him. Yet still, I wish there were could have been more.

I know my nephews will hold close these memories and look back fondly at them in years to come. Whenever they see an old lady at a game they point out that that will be me someday and they will be the ones taking me to the games. I laugh because although I am in no hurry to get old and gray, my boys have left me with something to look forward to.

I’ve realized that no matter how bright the sun may be on the most gorgeous of summer days, it always shines a little brighter when you’re sharing it with someone you love.

 

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Queer Town Abbey Invites You

to Get a Jump on the Season
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Queer Town Abbey,
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and dozens of your favorite authors
for the
Is It Summer Yet? Blog Hop
 
Celebrating My Best Summer Memory
 
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iPod shuffle
 
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donated by Tommy Boy Entertainment
 
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