I have a tendency to let my imagination run away from me. In many cases, I'm squarely with Mulder ("I want to believe") regarding things like aliens and ghosts and past lives and the Loch Ness Monster and the like. It doesn't take much to freak me out regarding the unknown, the thing that lurks in shadow.
And when I had a kid, I realized that they stare off into space a lot, especially newborns. Who knows what wonders their brand new vision reveals as their eyes mature. When he was very little, Munch stared up at the ceiling a lot, cooing and smiling and seeming to "look" at something that wasn't there--or that Hubs and I couldn't see.
Hubs took to calling this ceiling dweller "Jim," which I told him to stop immediately. Anyone who has seen the Paranormal Activity trilogy can understand why. The absolute last thing I wanted was a demon befriending my newborn. (Ummm, that's a really weird sentence, but also very true.) But Jim remained a part of our lives for a while.
I told myself that if Munch was seeing something, it didn't necessarily have to be evil. It was even comforting to think that my grandparents who have passed or great-grandparents on Hubs' side that I've never even met might be stopping in to see our little blessing.
Okay, that's still freaky, but not like The Exorcist freaky.
Now, 2 years later Munch sometimes still seems to interact with something that isn't there. It doesn't happen a lot, but when it does, I'm usually alone with him, of course. One night, we were in the living room, and he kept looking up at a corner of the ceiling and even pointing. And I asked, "What do you see?" and Munch just pointed.
Confession: Sometimes, I ask these nothings to leave us be, in the off chance that Jim was in fact a demon. (I feel the need to spit on the floor and douse myself in holy water even admitting this.)
The most recent incident happened about a month ago and it is the one that freaked me out the most. Munch and I were playing on my bed, which he loves to do. He tumbles and goes under the covers and mostly gives me heart failure for how close he dives to the edge of the mattress.
This particular day, I was lying with my head on the pillow and Munch was standing over me, looking at the room at large. He smiled. Then he whacked me pretty hard. And laughed. And looked back at the room at large.
Our closet doors are mirrors, and Munch loves to look at himself. However, I checked and he couldn't see himself from where he was.
This "look at nothing, hit mommy, laugh, look at the room, repeat" went on for a bit. I kept looking in the direction Munch did. He seemed delighted. And I couldn't see anything.
I, however, really started to freak out, I confess it here and now. I was like, Is some freaking ghost telling him to hit me?
I know this is likely completely insane. I know that Munch is 2 and he hits because he thinks it's fun and that he could just be imagining something in the room or who knows what.
I also know that I scooped him the hell up and went the hell downstairs.
I don't know. I've read about the concept that kids can see things we adults say just aren't possibly there. My cousin's cousin, when she was very little, used to talk about the lady who sat in the rocker in her room--an older woman had indeed once lived in their house. As the kid grew, mentions of the lady stopped. But did she disappear, or did the child just learn to see with adult eyes?
So, that all goes to say, I do want to believe. But I may not want to believe in my own bedroom.
* This post was inspired by a dear friend who on Twitter wondered if her cat was looking at a bug or a ghost.