I also want to write this particular blog because as a parent this is something we all fear, and we all may face one day. It could happen when your kids are young, or when their in their teenage years. And one thing I have learned over many stories like mine, you never know what the fall out will be.
But I also know by putting it down I'll never forget it. And while it *is* funny, it's also quite embarrassing. Go ahead and laugh at my expense. You're entitled to, at least until it happens to you. And trust me, it very well can. Then we can commiserate together. I'll be waiting with a sympathetic smile and I'll offer you a virtual glass of wine and we can trade war stories.
The other night, J and I ascended our stairs to bed. It was late at night, the kids were all tucked in bed and passed out cold. As husbands and wives do, we delayed sleeping that night to enjoy one another's, ahh, company. Little did we know that one of the most intense thunderstorms was headed our way and would be the platform for a new chapter in our parenting history.
So we're enjoying ourselves as the lightning begins to flicker. We were too wrapped up that we didn't notice. BAD BAD BAD TIMING!!! Especially in our house, where Xavier is prone to terror in regards to thunderstorms. Let me back up a moment here. Xavier deals with ADHD but has also been dealing with some anxiety issues. Tornados are his big trigger point. So anytime we have even the smallest storm, he begins to freak out. And he needs the assurance that when he panics he can come to us. So while many parents across the world have the option to lock their doors to ensure they can have their privacy, that option, alas, is not open to us. A locked door would probably make him hyperventilate.
The next thing we know, thunder booms, and our door is flung open, slamming into the wall, to portray in silhouette, Xavier standing in the hallway. Even from our bed I can see the whites of hie eyes. Quick as a flash (No pun intended) we threw a sheet over us, and turned to face our eldest son.
"MOM! DAD! THERE IS A THUNDERSTORM!!!"
"Hey look at that. There sure is. it's ok honey you're safe. you can go back to bed."
"BUT THERE COULD BE A TORNADO!!!"
"..... uhhh, no tornados hon. I promise I will let you know if there are any. Promise. Can you go back to bed sweetie? Dad and I are *really* tired."
"BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW THERE AREN'T ANY TORNADOS COMING TO KILL US????"
"Because my phone will tell me of any warnings. I'll tell you what. I'll go downstairs and bring my phone up here and if my phone beeps any tornado warnings, I'll let you know."
"Yup." I jump out of bed and race down the stairs to grab my phone. Fortunately, while we don't flaunt nudity, it's also not a huge deal in our household. So me racing down the stairs in my birthday suit in the middle of the night doesn't cause any issues. I know that soon, that will not be appropriate as he gets older, but for now, I'll take what little advantage I can get. I grab my phone, race upstairs, plug it in and show him that it's all set. With a surprising move of intelligence I also tell Xavier that he has a radio on in his room and he can listen too so he doesn't have to worry that I dont hear my phone. This makes him happy. But I give him specific instructions: Do NOT barge into our room again unless you hear on the radio a warning for a tornado!!!!
He leaves our room satisfied that all is right with the world. I shut the door, we giggle awkwardly, strain our ears to make sure that we hear nothing for a long while, then go back to where we left off.
The door slams open again and we stifle a shriek of surprise.
"THERE'S A WARNING ON THE RADIO!!!"
"Oh... I didnt hear anything on my phone."
"YEAH! IT'S A FLASH FLOOD WARNING "(for the next county over, mind you)
"Umm, Zavi... what kind of warning did I say you could come in here for again?"
"Bingo. Was this a tornado warning?"
"THEN GO TO BED!"
" Sorry. Night."
He slowly closes the door and J and I listen as he patters back down the hall to his room. Rolling our eyes, we look at each other, sigh, and cuddle. Which was a good thing because in the next moment a giant crash of thunder erupts and our door flings open with both Xavier and Ashe sobbing in fear.
While J stayed in bed, covered up in our sheets, I spent the next 10 minutes comforting the boys and finally had them calm enough to go back to bed, with Xavier being such a good brother and offering to read Ashe bedtime stories for awhile.Suffice to say the mood was gone by the time our 2 boys were settled and all was finally quiet. I don't know about J, but I couldn't stop wondering if there would be questions in the morning, after the terror abated. You hear the horror stories of your friends vividly remembering the time they walked in on Mom and Dad doing Mom and Dad things, and how they swear they were scarred for life. Or the stories where your friends kids walked in on them, and how they can't look their kids in the eyes after. I wondered what the outcome would be from this night.
We were lucky. No questions, no comments, no eye aversion from either side. Xavier never brought anything up. I think the fact that he knows we sleep in the buff sometimes just made him not even realize that things were a little different. And I think that because he is 8, in his eyes the world revolves around him, and he was too wrapped up in his own fears to even pay attention to anything else going on. So we dodged a bullet that could have had interesting consequences and for once in my life I am thankful he has tunnel vision.
But J and I learned a very important lesson that night. Always check the weather radar before going to bed!