Storm Perspectives (Part 1)

My son is afraid of storms.
Or rather, he was afraid of storms.
Until yesterday...
How do you convince an almost-four-year-old to stop being afraid of storms?
I don't know the answer to that.
But I do know how we inspired our little boy to stop being afraid of storms.

Yesterday, my kiddos and I were playing outside, seeing how far we could throw a plastic ball up into the sky. I noticed that the said sky was dark and ominous looking. There were clouds everywhere, and they weren't the kind of clouds that my daughter had so cheerfully labeled as "flowers" the evening before.
No, these clouds were boiling, dark grey, fast-moving things.
The tree branches overhead were starting to bed over in the wind.
"Ohh!" I told my kids. "A storm is coming! Come on! Let's sit on the porch and watch it."
My girl was okay with that, she's two years old, a little reckless, and only afraid of strangers. (A trepidation we don't want to discourage during this part of her life)
But my son? His eyes widened to amazing proportions.
"A storm?! It's going to light-ning and fun-der?! I don't like storms!"
I sighed and said the same thing I always do, "Son, the lightning and thunder isn't going to hurt you. You have a house. You're safe."
"I don't like the noise..." he grumbled.
"Well, come sit on the porch with me anyway. Come on, it'll be fun."

Our favorite family place to sit is a massive wooden swing on our front porch. It's high-backed, heavy, and can seat all of our family at one time.
I sat there with my children for several minutes, watching the storm come in. With each new blustery gust of wind, my son would get more nervous and whiny.
Finally I got tired of it and told him, “Listen, if you’re so scared, why don’t you just go inside and-”
He saw that as “permission granted!” and immediately scurried off. Faster than a wink, he was inside and watching the storm out the living room windows.
I frowned. I hadn’t really wanted him to leave. I had thought that he would be too scared to separate from me and run inside.
My son had called my bluff though, so there was no turning back.
I sighed and cuddled closer to my daughter. She was still sitting contentedly beside me on the porch swing.

Several minutes passed. The storm was taking its time in actually striking.
I really started to miss my son. I’m one of those mommas that do everything with a child attached to my hip or holding my hand. We’re hardly ever apart for more than fifteen minutes. If my kids nap too long, I usually crawl into their bed and cuddle with them for a few minutes, just to reassure myself with their peaceful breathing.
I knew my child was safe in the house. He was watching the same sights we were, just through the window. His daddy was in there.
But… he wasn’t with me.
And even more so, he was still afraid. I wanted him to experience the exhilaration of a good storm. I wanted him to be free of his fear so he could enjoy life more abundantly.
This would require both creativity and teamwork.

You can find Part 2 of this adventure by clicking here.

1 comment:

  1. you are a sweet and thoughtful mom, but then i already knew that and I love you and the way you take care of my great grandchildren!! Look forward to tomorrow. gaga