I’m the one who puts my nearly 4 year old son to bed every night. It’s a lovely time of day where I read books with him, give him kisses and cuddles, and generally load him up on my love that he misses daily while I’m at work. After I’ve read him two books, I turn the light off, lay on the bed with him, cuddle him, and we talk.
Lately, he’s been asking me if he can ask me some questions before I leave. We haggle on how many questions, and usually settle on 2-3. Mostly they are just ‘Dad, are there monsters in the house?’ or ‘Dad, are there trees in the house?’ or ‘Dad, are there worms in my room?’ Weird things for a 3 year old kid to wonder but who the hell knows how their crazy brains work, right. He’s usually concerned about possibly nefarious things being in the house that might cause him harm, but not too concerned. I always tell him those things not only aren’t in the house, but I would never let them in the house. I tell him monsters are just pretend, and that trees are out in the garden. The conversation nearly always ends in him laughing and telling me he knows monsters are just in books, etc. It’s all fairly innocuous.
Then, tonight he asked for only one question.
‘Dad, is Gary Loggins in the house?’
I laugh, what a funny name. He nervously laughs with me.
‘No, who is he?’
I can feel the room get colder as I say this. I put on my brave face but my feet are hanging off the edge of the bed, I’m on my belly, I could not be more vulnerable.
Vulnerable to Gary Loggins and whatever agenda he’s running in the dark hours of our lives.
My son then replies.
‘Gary Loggins is no one’s friend.’ – Oh, god, there’s an origin story right there – ‘He’s just a monster. 100 years old, I think. He knocks down houses and he’s a statue above the streets.’
I mumble something about Gary Loggins not being in the house, though pretty clearly my voice gives away the fact I can’t confirm this with hard data of any sort. I leave the room.
I start cleaning the kitchen and about five minutes later I hear three thumps come from my son’s room.