Yesterday, we explored a cave. You were cozy and tucked tightly into your seat. It’s true what they say. Parenting is an adventure. I suppose all of life is adventure, but what makes parenting more adventurous than all of life is that you don’t when the adventure is going to happen.
Because after I typed in the password to enter the cavern, you woke up, bright eyed and smiling. Thus, our adventure began. I put our vehicle into drive and inched forward into the cave. Then, lights blinked red and I stopped. Something clinked to life above us in the cave, and you tensed. Your mother started humming “Twinkle twinkle little star” in your ear as giant squid monsters with whirling death tentacles dropped down from the roof of the cavern. Since you were facing backwards, you were unaware of the giant squid monsters about to attack us…
…Until they attacked us. Water whipped across your window, and you let out a howl of terror. Your mother sang louder, trying her best to cover over the rapid gnawing of squid beaks across the roof of our vessel.
The squids draped over us, covering us in darkness. You clutched your mother as they sprayed their soapy acid poison on the windows in an attempt to penetrate our safety bubble. Then, just as they were at their worst and it seemed like they were about to break through, the tentacles dropped back. Our vessel was sprayed with a gentle mist, as if the cave itself wanted us to forget the whole experience and catalog it as a bad dream.
Your mother kept humming, softer and softer as your breathing slowed and your heart made its way back to its normal pace.
The light in front of us turned green and I nudged forward, past a howling wind before bursting into the sunlight. We were out of the cavern! And with our adventure over, your mother fed you a bag of baby space food flavored as turkey, rice and beans. You love baby space food, Blue.
You hate car washes.
One good thing about working through fear, Blue. If it doesn’t make you stronger, then at the very least it makes you cleaner.