Last week, after a fun filled night of birthday celebration for Vince, Mitch went to bed a little later than usual. Around midnight, I heard a thump -- he had fallen out of bed with a major thud and was crying. A few stories and hugs later, he was tucked back in and sleeping soundly.
Fast forward 45 minutes and Vince and I are lying in bed and we hear a shriek the likes of which we never heard out of his mouth. It was a true frightful caught your breath sort of shriek. We hurried into his room and he was crying, telling us he saw a ghost.
I have never heard Mitch reference a ghost (sans Halloween maybe). Not only did he clearly ID what he saw but the following morning when I went into his room, he was lying on his bed (unusual since he's typically by the door), pensive, and asked me, "Mommy, where dat ghost go?" He remembered it.
I have no idea what he saw...maybe it was a dream that seemed so real that it startled him out of his sleep. All I know is he was really frightened and shook up about it for 24 hours. We talked about it, about what it looked like (small and white), and where it went, what to do (Go Back, GHOST!). It was obviously very real to him so to dismiss it or act like he was imagining it would have been irresponsible of me.
I've since set up a few extra night lights in his room. It's been a week now and he seems to be better about it, even throwing a blanket over his head and declaring he is a ghost. He's nearly 3 and I suspect he is more aware now of his emotions and that certain things, situations and behaviors are unfamiliar and even scary (like animals in the mammal room at the museum). I'm hearing a lot more "that's scary, mommy."
Like his uncle Brian, he may need some extra comforting from time to time to keep the ghosts at bay.