Friday, October 18, 2013


By Lord C. Covington

"Remember what they taught you:
How Much of it was Fear:
Refuse to hand it down:
Your Legacy: stops here.
  -"Melissa Etheridge"
          Fear was as constant a companion growing up as my shadow.  I was raised amidst the Satanic Panic of the 80's, and in a Pentecostal household.  This was a world inhabited by word of Angels, Demons, and anonymous white van riding kidnappers. I was indoctrinated to know that demons were always ready to attack or possess me.  My father, a marine who served 3 tours of duty in Vietnam, made sure we swept our house for I never-knew-what before my mother and sister were allowed to enter our home.  My grandmother, a formative influence on my life, taught me never to trust any adult, because they would likely molest me.  Every night I sang myself to sleep with hymns to keep the demons that I knew were there at bay.  My box fan sounded enough like running water in the bathroom that I could convince myself my mother was nearby, and I could fall asleep.
         This fear has been mitigated by a life that has given me few empirical reasons to be fearful.  However, it informs the core of many aspects of my thinking.  I have always had, and will always have difficulty trusting people.  In tense interpersonal situations I tend to shut down emotionally.
         Toddlesworth is already a braver man than I, even to his own detriment.  He approaches the world with an exited curiosity, rather than a reserved suspicion.  There was a pit bull a chain roar-barking at him, and he merely pointed at it with a joyous expression and repeated " dog? dog! dog?".  The dark makes him sleepy, but never fearful.  He has been in a car collision, and most of his crying was over being woken up, and was over quickly.  I am determined to foster his curiosity over his anxiety.  I am determined to raise him to the light rather than teaching him to cower at the darkness.  As his father, I can do no less.  I think he will be a better person for it.


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