Title from the Garth Brooks song of the the same name.
Thunder sounded through the house last night, as it has done a lot this spring. My wife and I knew what was coming. Shy footsteps arrived a couple of minutes later.
“Where’s the iPad?” our 11-y.o. asked.
“The end table,” I said.
My son hit the button to wake up the iPad and immediately went to what is now his favorite app, an app that holds his interest more than any downloaded game, free or bought: The Weather Channel.
His fingers scrolled through various pages. “The storm will last until 4:30 a.m.” He put the iPad away, then went to what he considers his second bed in the house, the love seat in the master bedroom. He spent the rest of the night there, because he hates storms.
A few Saturdays ago, thunder shook the house, waking my son who ran into our room. “Tornado,” he yelled, and started begging us to go the basement. We groggily moved, knowing he was overreacting but still understanding his concern. Another thunderclap sounded a minute later and the lights flickered before going out. “Tornado,” he screamed again, pleading to go downstairs.
We roused our older son and told him we were going to the basement, as we had done during actual tornado warnings in the area earlier this year. We dressed quickly, grabbing blankets and heading to the one spot in the house that we know is the safest. We sat there for nearly two hours, our battery-operated radio providing periodic weather updates. We were glad that the batteries worked in one of the two flashlights we had stored away for emergencies, and we chilled until the weather report said the warnings were over.
We then woke our younger son, who had fallen asleep in the chair we have downstairs for these times. “It’s over?” he asked. “Yes,” I said. “It’s over. We’re going back to bed.”
Part of me wonders if we shouldn’t have played along. He needs to understand when a storm is just a storm, and learn to deal with it.
Yet, he was dealing with it, saving what mattered to him most. His family.
Maybe we’ll try next spring.