(Written 7 years ago)
My son, only 3 at the time, peered out the storm door as dark clouds approached. Welcome to springtime in Tornado Alley.
I had just cleaned the door. “Don’t think about getting your fingerprints on that door,” I told him.
He looked at me, grinned, and turned, putting both hands flat on the storm door. The moment he touched it, it happened.
The storm sirens blew, and thunder boomed.
Nick jerked his hands back and ran straight to my lap. A spring thunderstorm began. The boy didn’t move for half an hour.
He never touched the storm door again.
We’ve seen strong storms but have never been devastated by them personally. However, five years ago, our home was damaged by a fire. The kids lost their toys.
Last November, a tornado devastated our town. When we drive through the areas where the tornado hit, the kids see the path of destruction. They remember how hard it was for us to rebuild; the fire was their watershed; their lives are measured in B.F. (before fire) and A.F. (after fire) time.
The disaster was a reality check to heed those warning sirens.
When I hear them scream in the dark of night, I no longer roll over, listen for the wind, and go back to sleep. I turn on the news to learn the cause of the siren.
Last week, we made our way to our basement during a tornado warning. Once we got down the stairs, I noticed what our kids grabbed. Our daughter had her cat. Nick grabbed two of his stuffed animals. He sat with his storm supplies and a toy light saber.
Nick said, “I’ve got my light,” as he swung his battery-operated light saber. Then he pointed, “And I’ve got my bank [his piggy bank] and my Bible. I’m ready for anything.”
In six years, he’s grown from the young toddler who thought his handprints made the sirens scream and the skies to storm into a boy planning to handle problems.
For a moment, I saw the brave heart of a Peter or Edmund from Narnia, ready to fight and provide for those he loves.
Do you face Fast Times in Tornado Alley? Take heart – the things we view as fast times are the pruning of a Master Gardener caring for His vineyard. Grab your weapons, and you too will be ready for anything.
Epilogue update: Now he’s gone through weather spotter training and watches Doppler when storms happen.