01-29-17 Yellow – The Color of Childhood Fears


My disdain for the color yellow started very early in my life. I associated the color with vomit, and it caused me such distress that my mother couldn’t take me down the mustard aisle at the store without my eyes covered. My sister would torment me, as only a sibling could, by chasing me with yellow crayons, my mother chiding her as we ran past. The very sight of the color yellow would make me nauseous, so a long time I avoided it. Like most childhood fears, I outgrew it, however my distaste for the color lingered on for years… as did the mocking I endured over my unconventional aversion.

My list of childhood fears runs the gamut of somewhat predictable to the strange and unusual.

  1. Yellow- As mentioned above.
  2. Vultures- I saw a movie (The Last Unicorn) and in it one of the characters is killed and eaten by a vulture. My childhood mind convinced myself there were birds large enough to swoop out of the sky and pick me apart. When I would run to the mailbox, I would stick as close to the house as long as possible, watching the heavens for any impending danger.
  3. The Rapture- I’m not sure why I was so terrified of the Rapture, but every time I couldn’t find my mother I was convinced she had been raptured and I had been left behind. (No poor literary pun intended.) 100% of the time she had not in fact been raptured, but rather she was working in the garden, or talking with the neighbors.
  4. Aliens- I blame Unsolved Mysteries for this particularly ridiculous fear, as I often stared at the stars in the sky waiting for them to move.
  5. Ghosts- I grew up in a very old community. Many of the homes dated back nearly a century, and there were many tales of hauntings and spirits. Our house was never included in those stories, but I often wondered at them as I listened to the settling wood of our old farmhouse late at night.
  6. Clowns- Stephen King’s It made a whole generation of children see clowns in a whole new light. Even now I can’t look at a storm drain without my mind picturing Pennywise smiling back at me and sending a shiver down my spine.
  7. Dogs- While most of the other fears were decidedly left in my childhood imagination, my fear of large dogs followed me into adulthood. The jingle of a dog collar still has the ability to push me into fight or flight more swiftly than anything else.

Thankfully, my children’s fears have so far been relatively typical- comprising mostly of dark hallways and loud noises. If we are lucky, they will stay that way, however should they start fearing, say, the rapture, I feel more than prepared to help them conquer their anxieties.

Did we share any of the same fears? Are there ones you would add? 



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