Kids can be creepy. Mine are no exception.
We moved to Michigan a few months ago, and after living in a city neighborhood for the last five years we decided to mix things up and bought a house in a more rural area. The big basement, the yard, the attached garage... blah blah blah you know the drill. Needless to say the view out of the car window is much more varied these days and my oldest immediately took notice of the change in scenery.
Our main route back into civilization happens to drive us directly by a large private cemetery. The property mainly consists of a large green lawn with tidy rows of headstones, each adorned with a nearly identical vase of flowers. We probably drove past it 100 times before my son started asking questions.
"Mommy, why are all the scarecrows standing in that field?" I looked back to confirm that he was, in fact, staring directly at the cemetery as we drove past.
"Um, what field?" I ask all nonchalant even though I'm pretty sure my heart rate immediately doubled.
"That field, back there, with all the scarecrows standing up. I saw them out my window."
"Hmmmm, well I didn't see any scarecrows... are you talking about the field with all the flowers in a row?" (Please please please let him be talking about the flowers)
"NO. I saw the flowers. I'm talking about the SCARECROWS."
"How many scarecrows did you see? What did they look like?"
"Well mommy I didn't COUNT them. But I saw a lot. And I don't KNOW what they looked like."
Silence. I don't bring it up again thinking that maybe it was just one of those really weird things that no one will ever talk about again. NOPE. As we pull into the garage he finally says "well the scarecrows look like what you look like when you maybe come up out of the ground and stand there." GODDAMNIT IT. GOD. DAMN. IT.
I just say "Oh really, huh" as calmly as I can and don't say anything else. The last thing I want to do is encourage this spookiness or put thoughts into his head that weren't there already. My kid is pretty good at reading the situation so if he senses that this topic is freaking me out he will most definitely never stop talking about the scarecrow zombies until the day I die.
I tell a few of my friends the story via group text (obviously) when I get home and we have a joint nervous chuckle and then move on to more important topics like whose kid is being the bigger asshole today. (Confession: This is basically the gist of every text conversation with every mom friend I know, minus the ghost shit.)
Over the next few weeks the scarecrow sightings continue. Almost every time we drive by the cemetery he says "there are all the scarecrows! standing there!" like he is pointing out a group of friends from school at the park. I comfort myself with the fact that they don't seem to scare him. I repeatedly ask if the scarecrows might actually be the flowers, but he always insists they are something else.
And finally, the moment I was anticipating: "mommy, I'd like to drive to that field and get a closer look at the scarecrows."
SHIT. At first I said vague, agreeable things like, "we'll see" and "maybe another day." This worked for a while, but eventually he started demanding we visit the "field" every time we drove past. One day I decided to go for it. At this point, I really wanted to know what he would see, too.
I pulled off the main road and approached the cemetery. At the entrance was a water feature and large mausoleum. As I ventured in further I noticed the left side of the road seemed to be where all the fancy dead people were buried. On the right side was the "field" filled with smaller grave markers where I assumed they stuck all the peasants. "Perhaps headstone envy is why they choose to rise from their graves and appear to a random 3-year-old boy?" I thought.
Since there was no way in HELL I was opening any of the doors or windows (ghosts are like poisonous gas in case you didn't know that) I drove by slowly so we could all look out the window.
"Mommy, you aren't going to believe this."
Here we go.
Do I pray? What is happening.
"... are just flowers. You were right ALL along mommy. You said they were flowers and now I know they are. Thank you for taking me to get a closer look."
My emotions at that moment were complicated. Relief obviously, but if I'm being totally honest, also disappointment. At this point I'd become pretty convinced my kid could see the spirit world. I imagined all the ghost sightings to come and how I could help guide him through a life managing his "gift." To go from that to wondering if he needed glasses, well its all a bit anticlimactic. I'm pretty sure my friends were disappointed too (sorry guys).
I came home and told my husband the story. "Well thats a huge surprise," he said. "Because I DEFINITELY thought it was ghosts." (Insert sarcasm font)