One of Bea's favorite upstairs books is The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover.
I say upstairs because it's one of many favorite books we read to her in her bedroom, and then there's a whole other set of favorites downstairs in the living room, Bea's play room, which is what the living room has become (hey, we're fully prepped for Bryce -- bring him/her on).
In the story, Grover begs and pleads with the reader to not read to the end of the book because there's a horrible monster there. In fact, he does everything he can to thwart the reader, including tying pages together and building brick walls, all in hopes of stopping us from reaching the monster.
Who is Grover himself.
Grover jokes nervously that he knew the monster wouldn't be scary, but we get the fact that we can be scared of our own shadow, the mysterious other self of the unknown that is known.
Bea woke up yesterday morning a couple of times crying and cold. Sometimes she loses her blanket somewhere in the night and hasn't figured out how to pull it back on herself. Plus, her teeth are still coming in and bothering her.
Usually Mama gets up to console her, to tuck her in again. Sometimes she has to pull Bea in the big bed that's on the other side of the room from her crib and lay with her for a bit. Mama's always a loving comfort that way.
But yesterday morning I gave Mama a break and brought the baby monitor downstairs. When Bea started crying I went up to console her. I bent over the front of the crib, rubbed her arms softly and told her how much I loved her. I told her it wasn't time to get up yet and to go back to sleep.
She held and stroked "fuzzy" (her blanket), sucked her thumb and went back to sleep.
Jarred Harrell lived down the street from Somer Thompson.
When I was 10 and my sister 8, there was a monster who lived with our mother at the end of the house.
He was mentally ill and abusive to us all.
We had no idea at first. It totaled almost three years too long, but we got out intact.
But not unscathed.
The growing incivility of our children to others and acts of bullying, cyber-bullying and Internet trolling are reprehensible.
Last night I waited patiently with hand on Mama's belly, longing to feel Bryce move. It's still a little early for me to be able to feel, but Mama can already feel the movement -- the flipping, the flopping, the kicking and the hiccups.
It was at 21 weeks when I first felt Beatrice, so we're getting close to that window with Bryce.
The monster at the end of this book, this house, this block and that IP address...is us.
The difference between the real monsters and Grover is us.
God empowers the difference, but it's still up to us.
Those of us with sound hearts and minds can intervene, prevent and protect. Those of us without, cannot, and must be protected against.
Mama and I love you Beatrice and Bryce.