What Do We Lose When We Stop Fearing Thunder And Lightning?

What Do We Lose When We Stop Fearing Thunder And Lightning?

When did I stop being afraid of thunder and lightning? And what else have I lost along with that fear?
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I'm sitting here, writing, in the middle of a thunderstorm. And the storm is making me think about the kids that I babysit for in the summer; they always have a tough time falling asleep during a thunderstorm, which is totally understandable. What little kid isn't afraid of thunder and lightning? Their combination, their marriage, is loud and scary and bright and so incredibly in-your-face.

And I find myself always trying to explain the fear away by telling them that it's just nature, that they're safe -- that the thunder and lightning cannot and will not hurt them. But cold logic doesn't work with kids like it works with adults. And it makes me wonder: when did I become an adult? When did cold, hard logic make me steely against the things I cannot control? When did I stop being afraid of thunder and lightning? And what else have I lost along with that fear?

I remember my childhood in vignettes. The bedroom curtains that frightened me with the warped faces I saw in them instead of flowers. The first time I swallowed gum and lost my mind thinking I was growing a gum tree inside of my tiny belly. Climbing into my parents' bed early Saturday mornings and snuggling between my sleeping mother and father. Those are only a couple. My childhood was beautiful.

And I think something that most people can agree on is the beauty of childhood. The purity of thought that children have allows them to see the world through fresh eyes, through a lens that adults cannot even access. As adults, we like to think that it's simple naivety that drives this outlook on life. But I think that maybe it's more, or maybe it's different, or maybe it's just something we cannot even begin to understand.

I was once a child. We all were. We believed in once upon a time and fairy dust and something bigger and better waiting just on the horizon. We believed that our parents were invincible. We believed that we could do anything we set our hearts to. We believed that people were good.

Maybe I'm particularly jaded, but I don't think I have that pure childhood optimism for life that I used to. I don't see potential in every little thing or compare people to oysters (this actually happened) or roll around on the floor, covered in newspaper, laughing without reserve. I don't do things with reckless abandon or react to thunder and lightning in visceral ways, because logic always stops me from acting too much like a kid. It protects me from feeling too much of that infectious childhood freedom. But maybe we're not meant to see the world like children. Maybe that's part of what makes them so beautiful, so precious. Maybe we're just here to clean up the mess and protect the good that children see and feel and are for as long as we can.

Cover Image Credit: Richard T. Cole

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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