My family has a deep history of making the night exciting. My mom would emit the most eerie ghost sounds that were the result of screaming in her nightmares. Needless to say, it scared the bejeebers out of us kids. One memorable night, my mom and at least one of my sisters were in the hallway outside all of our bedrooms all screaming having terrified each other. My mom also would wake with a start and voice her fears. One camping trip, this led to a major part of the campground being woken up to, “Jim (my dad), there’s someone outside our tent,” uttered in a voice of pure fear and anguish.
My dad’s contribution to the family excitement is the clear and decisive pronouncement of gibberish. The words make sense. They are sentences, but they don’t hold up to the light of day. What it does is leave the poor recipient of these pearls of wisdom to stay up wondering what they meant.
One of my sisters has inherited my mom’s fear reaction, and on a trip to San Diego ended up shutting me in a room that she thought had a vicious animal. Whether it was the bear or dog that we joke about after the fact, the event itself was clear proof that these traits can be inherited.
I seem to have gotten my dad’s gift. To a former girlfriend, I once pronounce, “You are worth a million burning bushes,” and promptly fell back asleep. When confronted with this in the morning, I had no recollection nor idea what it meant.
In the midst of both of my children having nightmares on Saturday night, my daughter awoke at one point and exclaimed, “Why is there no pencil sharpener in this room?” Ah, good to know the family talents are being kept alive.