I have a deep rooted fear of thunderstorms that stems from a long line of women in my family who jumped out of their skin at first the clap of thunder. My sweet Mammaw was traumatized by her grandmother whom she lived with as a teenager. Whenever a thunderstorm brewed, the two of them would squeeze into a closet to hug, squeal, and cry their way through the storm.
This in turn, made Mammaw a total mess as an adult and she was kind enough to pass her fear onto me. She forced my Pappaw to build a storm garage at the bottom of a long driveway next to their home. I suppose she thought that it could shelter her from any storms. They lived in Canyon Lake, Texas not far from the lake. Being so near the water produced some pretty amazing lightning.
If a storm came in the night while I was having a sleep over, she would jolt me out of my sleep, toss me out the front door to run like a scared lunatic through the rain and thunder. The darkness would be cut with flashes of light as we darted through the rain. The wind would swoop up behind me and almost push me into her car. Then we would all drive down to the storm garage to wait for clear skies. It was terrifying. We would all sit in the hot car and wait and wait. Lightning would snap and thunder would clap as we all held on for dear life.
You can only imagine what this experience did to me. I am determined not to pass my own fears onto my boys. This resistance has made me over-enthusiastic when a thunderstorm hits. I get all "fake excited" and act ridiculously cheerful during bad weather. In a high pitched voice I'll shout "Oh boy, that was a big flash, let's all get ready for the thunder!" The house will rattle and I'll clap my hands and yell "Oh boy, isn't this exciting?!"
The boys look at me like I'm insane, which I am, of course. It doesn't help that we have had some pretty intense weather over here lately. Early the other morning, it thundered so loud that it threw a picture hanging over my bed off the wall. Pulled out of a deep sleep by the loud bang and a falling frame, I screamed "OH MY GOD!" as I shot out of bed.
I heard Koen screaming in his crib "Thunder, too loud Mama!" I ran in and grabbed him. We both literally shook in each other's arms in the rocking chair as the storm blared all around us. I envisioned my Great-grandmother holding Mammaw in the same way and remembered trembling in Mammaw's as a small child. "The fear stops here" I said aloud as I kissed Koen's head and tried my hardest to remain calm.
I must stop the cycle.