Being a native Minnesotan, and experiencing many August storms over the years, I knew the combination of temperature and humidity in the evening meant we’d be in for some terrific thunderstorms tonight. And I love a terrific thunderstorm!
Unfortunately, my sons do not.
I didn’t think about the fact that they haven’t experienced a thunderstorm in a while. Living in Bahrain… in a desert… means we get very little rain and no thunderstorms, terrific or otherwise. And, of course, this set of storms hit right at bedtime.
I tucked them in, said our goodnights, closed the door, went out to the porch to watch the the storm, and…
Flash. Flash. BAM!!!!
They immediately, and silently, came out of their room. I turned and nearly jumped out of my skin as I saw four eyes peeking at me around the corner! They were startled, too, but not by me. They were genuinely scared because of the storm. I wasn’t sure how to handle this. I don’t want my kids to be afraid of thunderstorms. I mean, sure, I want a reasonable sense of safety (although I admit I’d still love to go storm-chasing some time, so I might have a different definition of reasonable…), but I don’t want them to be so fearful they can’t sleep.
What to do????? And then it hit me… like a bolt of lightning, if you will…
Luckily, my sons are completely obsessed with Pokemon. Also luckily, I paid just enough attention as they droned on and on about Pokemon to know some have lightning powers. So I asked, “Which Pokemon have lightning powers?” I interrupted them after they listed about 10. Then I asked, “Do any have thunder powers?” They told me there’s no such thing (and I’m sure they rolled their eyes, but the lightning wasn’t quite bright enough for me to tell for sure), but my older son added, “There are some that can move things with their mind.”
“OK,” I replied. “How about you imagine some of those Pokemon are having a contest to see who has the best lightning power?”
“Oh, yeah! That’s cool!”
“And,” my younger son added, “(insert Pokemon name here – I wasn’t paying close enough attention to remember) can be throwing a big boulder with his mind!”
“Perfect!!” I said. “Picture the battles. You can talk to each other about the stories you’re imagining if you want – as long as you are laying down.”
They settled in again and I went back to the porch to enjoy some calm during the storm.