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Reaching back into the archives, for the second part of the twenty year old trilogy of pre-wedwand stories of toddler days gone by. Interesting for the camel to re-read the perspective of 1993. Here it is, unedited from the original version:

TODDLER TREPIDATIONS – Thunder and Lightening

June of 1993 was the wettest June on records for 101 years in the Chicagoland area, missing the all-time record by just ½ inch of rain according to the local weatherman.

Much of the rain that fell was accompanied by lightening bolts and thunder booms that rumbled across the heavens, crackling through the sky and more or less scaring the poop out of our two year old daughter.

This proves an interesting parental dilemma. You may tell your child there is nothing to fear and to show how this is just one of nature’s many moods, you look out the window, child by your side, to watch the storm.

As bolts of lightening flash through the sky accompanied by thunder crashes as loud as cannons, the rain pours out of the sky so heavily that you cannot see across the street.

You calmly tell her that this is what they call a storm as the lights flicker on and off and tree branches begin to scatter across the lawn. There is nothing to fear, you tell her with assurance, wondering to yourself whether it is about time to build an ark.

I tried that very approach one evening and thought it worked. The storm calmed eventually and our daughter went to bed. Confident, I assumed all was well.

It was about ten o’clock when from out of nowhere, a lightening bolt went rippling through the sky followed closely by a loud crack of thunder.

I thought I heard my daughter cry, but I wasn’t certain. I went to check on her in her room and found her huddled up at the head of the bed totally under the covers making little whimpering sounds.

Guess she saw through the “nothing to worry about” bit. After holding her and trying to give her a little comfort, she agreed to go back to bed but only if I agreed to lie on a pillow on the floor next to her in her room, “right dere daddy.”

After seeing her in her previous crisis state, I saw too no other option. I woke up with a sore back about two in the morning and she hasn’t been particularly fond of storms since that time.

The aftermath came weeks later. She has some anxieties which is not unnatural for a two year old, but one day, she looked up at some big old pure white cumulus clouds that looked like cotton candy floating lazily across another wise blue shy and announced, “I don’t like a da couds.”

Thunder or bugs I understand. I myself am not too fond of a bee in my ear or a fly nipping at my ankles, but clouds?! Menacing dark rain clouds maybe, but after questioning her further, she reaffirmed, “Daddy, don’t like a doze big puffy things.”

She apparently identified them as similar to the source of storms. I hope soon she will learn that not all clouds are bad.

EPILOGE: An interesting sequence of events ensued as I finished this entry.

I followed up with my daughter today, nearly 21 years later, with the random question, “What do you think about clouds?”

She shook her head slowly from side to side at this bizarre question and simply said, “What about them? Those big puffy things?”

No fear lingered, thankfully, but the very SAME description remained, almost 21 years later, “those big puffy things.” “Cross my eyes and hope to spit,” to quote the TV legend of the 60’s, Theodore “Beaver” Cleaver, that’s what she said.

Had I had the foresight, I could have made millions on a study on whether a child would describe a phenomenon of nature the very same way 21 years later.

Oh well, keeping with the month related jingles, remember, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.

But I was wondering, if April showers bring a May flowers, what do May flowers bring?

Wait for it …

It’s on the tee, ready to take a swing?

Of course, the answer is Pilgrims.

The Mayflower brought Pilgrims to America in 1620.

And with them, disease and pestilence and the annihilation of a tribe of people. But that’s a topic for another day.

Here’s some Pieces Of April for you as we move on to May tomorrow.

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