A few weeks ago, Charlie and I woke up at 4:00 a.m. to a thunderstorm. Fortunately, neither of our kids have ever woken up to thunderstorms. We suddenly heard the loudest lightning/thunder ever that shook the house. We knew the lightning hit close and assumed maybe the golf course next door. The next morning, Charlie came back from his run at 8:30 and said that the lightning hit one of the duplexes down the street and that duplex and half of the one next to it had burned down. He tends to exaggerate so I walked over to be a gawky neighbor. He warned me not to take Laci because it was still pretty bad. I was amazed at what I saw. The house had burned down. The firefighters were still putting water on it to ensure it was all out. We drove by several times that weekend. There was a lot of activity - the homeowners were sitting with neighbors on the back patio and what was left of the house was being boarded up.
We didn't think much of the effects of the fire for awhile. Laci had a lot of questions - where will the people sleep, how it did happen, what about the firefighters. We were very careful not to tell her that the fire started with lightning because we didn't want her to be afraid of storms. It's amazing how these little minds work and how they just keep thinking. About a week ago, we realized that the neighborhood fire has really scared her. She is terrified of fire and her house burning down. They had a fire drill at school so I think we may plan one for home too. We have showed her all of the smoke detectors in the house and we point out the sprinkler systems at stores. We talk about where the fire stations are and how to call 911. When we walk near the houses to go to the pool, she always talks about how sad it is and asks if they will be at the pool.
But she has still made the connection between lightning and fires. Fortunately, we have had a few pop up thunderstorms the last few days. My yard is thankful. But Laci is terrified. As soon as the sky gets dark, she attaches herself to me and doesn't leave my side. We went to the library the other day right when it started to cloud over. We have never made a library run so fast - in and out to avoid the storm. No looking at the fish. No playing with the toys. We spend a lot of time looking at the radar assuring her that the storm will be fast. She is not scared of the storm. She will tell you that. She is scared of fire and her house burning down and now knows that lightning brings fire. She asks lots of questions like how will the fire get inside? If we leave the doors and window shut, will the fire stay outside? And the hardest question of all to answer - how do I know we won't have a fire? I can't know for sure but have faith that we won't and have faith that we will be taken care of.