JC Schildbach, LMHC
Back when my daughter was, I think, five years old (maybe six), my wife put together this black, construction-paper house (and drew the flower on it, perhaps thinking my daughter would make a ‘cute’ haunted house). And, while I find it completely adorable, my daughter’s version of a haunted house did her horror-fan dad proud.
As a teen, the kid didn’t want me putting the haunted house out on display year after year, but grudgingly allowed it, so long as it went back in storage with the other Halloween decorations as soon as November hit. Then, one year while getting out the Halloween decorations, I couldn’t find the house. I feared that the kid had tossed it, in the same way she had gotten rid of other things she deemed embarrassing during her teen years.
As it turns out, the absence of the haunted house was merely due to the complete mess that is my workshop. It had somehow gotten knocked to the floor and shoved up under a storage shelf, plywood blocking the house from view. I went through two Halloweens, not realizing that it wasn’t lost forever, only misplaced.
When I finally found it, I was overjoyed. I ran into the house and showed my wife, telling her how I thought it had been lost forever, but it was just lost for a very long time. I’m not sure she understood how excited I was, because “overjoyed” for me is usually just mildly obnoxious–well, mildly in my book at least. It was a little beat up, as might be obvious from the photos, but in much better shape than it might have been, given the recklessness with which I had treated it.
I got my daughter, emerging from the height of teenage embarrassment at the time, to agree to let me keep the haunted house permanently displayed on the mantle, just to the right of the TV, so, well, it’s at least in my peripheral vision for a while each day. And so I don’t have to worry about it getting lost in my poorly-organized workshop.