I’ve written before how Douglas Adams’ books are woven through my cultural history; form part of my Englishness that will never completely leave me, no matter how far away from there I live. One of my favourite quotes from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is:
Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
I’m sitting up in bed, listening to the rain and hoping tonight will be a much more comfortable night’s sleep now this little hot spot of weather has broken. As I collected Archie from school, the rain started. Big, fat, heavy drops with that heavenly fresh smell from the first few minutes of it hitting the pavement. High in the clouds above his school, and our house, thunder crackled. For the next hour we alternated from panic to tears, eventually putting his ear defenders on (last used for our visit to the airshow).
He struggles with loud noises, always has done. If the radio comes on too loud in the car, he recoils in pain, so you can imagine what thunder does or feels like for him; particularly when the storm is parked over our house.
I didn’t like thunderstorms when I grew up, although not for the same reason. I slept so deeply I didn’t know where I was when I got woken up, and any noise would scare the be-jeepers out of me. (My site wants to correct that to beekeepers, which if I was writing about Eddie Izzard, I’d allow. Cake or death?)
Anyhoo, I know that trying to get Archie to calm down is not going to happen by telling him to. You just have to sit with him and ride out. That old empathy thing again.
While he was sat on my lap, all hot and sweaty, fingers jammed in his ears, I asked him about his day. What had happened in assembly? Did you sing the Australia song? (as in our national anthem?) He said yes and said they were also singing Christmas songs, but that he couldn’t remember what ones. We talked about anything and everything. Hubs then found his ear ‘muffs’ and he ate his dinner wearing them.
We checked the radar and talked through what the colours meant on the screen as the storm moved over Melbourne. After we’d got his ear muffs off, one random final rumble caught him unawares. He picked his ear muffs up and smacked them back down on his head again.
I will do ANYthing to help him get over being scared of thunder, as I remember how it ruled my life. I didn’t sleep with a window open in my room until my 20s. I can remember getting into bed with my parents, because sometimes only your Mum will do. Tomorrow morning, we’ll watch this little video on storms again and talk through again about how well he did with putting his ear muffs on at the end of the storm.
The irony? The fairy at the bottom of the garden? Archie loves lightning. Loves the shapes it makes in the air. Loves watching videos of storms.
Where did you find the beautiful today? For me it was the postal vote result, a collective breath of relief went through the office today. I didn’t realise how hard we had been holding our breaths until 10am.