Many years ago after my divorce from my daughter’s father, she and I found ourselves living in a magnificent apartment with soaring ceilings in a fancy-pants complex with a pool, movie room and gym. It was an incredibly special time for us as we were held in limbo until the next chapter.
At six years-old, she was still a bit fearful of the booms and flashes of sudden and sustained thunderstorms until one night, I had her lay next to me on her stomach as we stared out of the floor to ceiling window in our living room and watched a magnificent storm. Watching and listening as I “oohed” and “aahed” and grinned my way through it she gradually lost her fear.
Ever since, she loves when a scroll at the bottom of the tv pops-up with severe thunderstorm warnings. She has a weather app on her phone that alerts her as one gets closer. She’ll beg me to wake up to come watch as it rolls into view.
This past weekend while visiting my brother in Vermont strong thunder and lightning storms were pretty much guaranteed for the night we arrived. After everyone else had gone to bed she and I sat in anticipation in my brother’s beautiful all-season enclosed porch, me in his perfectly placed armchair and she on a couch. The lightning became fast and furious, like a monochromatic fireworks display. We did that oohing and aahing thing in unison and giggled as we listened to ourselves. While looking at the lightning I said it seemed as if the flashes and bolts were having an argument, a very dramatic call and response. She complimented me on my interpretation and said I should write it down.
I suggested that we both write two paragraphs describing the shared experience from our own perspectives. She enthusiastically accepted the challenge and has since forgotten about it. I’m not up for the inevitable reaction of a 15-year old if I remind her and the excuses she’ll make. It was a moment in time that I know neither of us will forget. And even though this is more than two paragraphs, I have lived up to my end of the bargain, quite happily.