Archive for July, 2012

I turn 26-years-old tomorrow. Yep. July 16th is my birthday and has been every since I was born…26 years ago. Well, May December Publications and I thought it was a good idea to do a free ebook giveaway in celebration of me turning 26. So let me sum things up for you. This ebook giveaway is my birthday celebration and your party favor is…well, your party favor is the free ebook. Won’t you celebrate with me? Bottom lip poked out, eyes wide, “Won’t you pretty please celebrate with me?” Go to the following link and get your party favor: http://www.amazon.com/The-BoogeyMann-ebook/dp/B007SC793O/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1342285364&sr=1-1 If you don’t want to read the book, just go on over, click the like button, and download it anyway. Don’t have an ereader? Amazon gives you a free Kindle app for your computer. I mean,  can we make this giveaway any easier? Well, that’s enough of that. Let this shameless plug lead me into today’s blog: A Spirit of Fear.

The Holy Bible states that God did not give us a spirit of fear. WAIT! Don’t you go running off! I’m not about to preach to you. I’m just making a biblical reference. Better now? Go on, catch your breath. Alright, let’s resume.

So the Bible states that God did not give us a spirit of fear. But I observe my five-month-old son and wonder where does fear come from if God did not implant us with it. How does Benjamin know what to be afraid of when he hasn’t learned what to fear?

Truth time. I roared at my son. It was a couple of months ago, and it wasn’t a malicious roar. You know the kind where you place your hands above your head, make finger claws, put on a crazy looking face, and, “WRRRRAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGH!” What do you expect? I’m the author of The BoogeyMann. Anyway, Benjamin became visibly startled, then his face scrunched up, and he began to cry. Of course his mother scolded me for that, and I’m like, “What?! How was I suppose to know he knew to be afraid?” I mean, really! How does a three-month-old baby know that this is frightening?

That wasn’t the only time I noticed that we, as humans, are born with a sense of fear. My child and I were walking through the hallway of our apartment. It was dark. I held the bouncer he sat in so his face was turned toward me. Just to make conversation, I said, “Hey, buddy. What’s going on?” Well, once again, he became startled, then his face scrunched up and he began to cry. “What’s the matter?” I asked as I hurried to get him into the light of the kitchen so he could see my face. “It’s just me. It’s Daddy. Not a monster.” It took a few seconds, but he eventually calmed down. There were a couple more instances of me roaring (because I like to roar at little babies, apparently). One time I was sitting right in front of him. He was staring at me. Eventually I tired of the awkward silence and said, “Hey.” The child visibly flinched, then cried. I’m like, “What the hell?”

“He didn’t expect you to say anything,” his mother said.

Whatever.

Because of these instances, I believe that we were born with a certain amount of fear. How would a baby know to fear the dark and monsters when he has not even seen Friday 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street? He doesn’t know what a monster is. Benjamin does not know what could possibly lurk in the darkness, and yet he already knows to fear these things. It’s crazy.

My initial theory was that we were given the spirit of fear. However, that time when Benjamin was staring at me and he became startled when I spoke brought another possibility to mind. In the animal kingdom (which we humans are a part of), mammals get their instincts from nursing on their mother. They learn their enemies from information passed on through the milk. They learn what to fear. When I saw my baby become startled, even though he had been staring at me the whole time, I realized that he could have gotten that scary side from his mother. She is (and don’t tell her I told you this) as scary as they come. I have gotten to the point where I have to say, “I’m about to touch you now.” I warn her that I’m going to touch her, I touch her, then she flinches. “I just told you I was going to touch you!” I say. Then she says something about her nerves being bad, or my hand was cold. Whatever. When I go through the apartment, I sometimes call out, “I’m coming to such-and-such,” or “I’m walking behind you. Don’t be alarmed.” There have been times when I would say, “I’m coming up behind you,” then I approach her from the side and she still becomes startled. She is just easily frightened. She won’t even let me have scary movies in the house, and I love scary movies. Probably why she doesn’t even read my writings which are suitable for children. Adventure Time on Cartoon Network freaks her out. Then again, Courage the Cowardly Dog gives me the willies sometimes.

Back to the point I was trying to make. Baby mammals get their instincts and fears from nursing. Benjamin breastfed for a time. If he got his fears from his mother, then that would be everything under the sun. Man! I sure hope it’s not inherited fear. A spirit of fear can be tamed. Inherited fear is for life. And I like to jump out of shadows, and from around corners, and roar. What am I ever to do with a scary child?

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