This time of year it's tornado after storm after tornado after ... well you get the point.
It rained all day yesterday non-stop. And in the evening, when driving my son to church I noticed how crazy the clouds looked. They were separating on the lower levels and rolling around. The color of the sky wasn't green, which is an indicator of perfect tornado time, but it was 'off'.
Right before I pulled out of our neighborhood, the tornado sirens started blaring and I knew I had to head back home to catch the forecast and wait it out in our closet.
My son is really good about playing off his emotions. He's not one to show fear unless it's really bad. I made light of how fun it would be to build a tent in the closet and we tried to have the most fun we could. Unfortunately I still had to listen to the weatherman to make sure I knew exactly where the twister was and could be touching down, and what kid wouldn't freak with that intense language spouting from the radio? Once our power started flickering I lit a candle, and he asked me to go get his hermit crabs from his bathroom. I of course obliged.
After hearing the storm was safely out of our path, I tried to leave the closet but my son had none of it. He never cried or got desperate during the entire time, but now he started blocking my path.
"You can't get blown away. You have to stay safe!" he cried. It was at that point that I knew that even though he had been acting like it didn't matter, but he was a lot more stressed than he let on. He was a lot more scared than I knew.
I didn't force him out. That would have made it worse. I returned the blankets back to the closet, because he was begging for them to cover with.
I asked him, "Honey have I ever lied to you?"
"Would I ever break a promise?"
"Would I ever put you in danger on purpose?"
"Then trust me when I say that we're safe and the storms have passed. I'm going to go turn the TV on and show you where we are and where the storms are to prove it to you. You can stay in there as long as you want, and I'll be okay while waiting in the other room."
After a while he came out. He had to make sure his hermit crabs were secure and safe. Once he came in the living room, we had a picnic while watching some less eventful programming. It took his mind off things and he was better. He pulled out his little boy's Bible and wanted me to read it to him. I knew he needed not only reassurance from his mommy but from his God too.
After a couple of Bible stories, I read the mommy time activities that were included with him. To make a long story short, I told him that sometimes when we're not quiet we miss out on good things...like hearing God's voice in our hearts.
He emphatically expressed, "Oh I know cuz I've heard him right there." He pointed to his heart and continued, "I've heard him all the way down to my nuggets!"
Now I don't know about you but the first thought of what 'nuggets' made me burst out laughing. I didn't know one could hear God there, nor did I know that my son knew what nuggets were. So I asked him, "Really? Nuggets? Just where are your nuggets?"
He pointed to his tummy and said, "the chicken ones in my tummy."
My husband got home from church not long after, and he excitedly told his dad about our time in the closet. He told him that his mommy prayed for us and the storms and that everything was okay. He's such a brave little guy, and a funny one too.
Children are amazing!