Monday, March 7, 2016

Thunderbolts and Lightning, Very Very Frightening!

The Los Angeles area is not known for thunder storms.  I remember when Liam was in kindergarten and the kids were doing a play about weather.  I was sure that most of the five-year-olds had never encountered most of the phenomena they were singing about.

But, as soon as Liam experienced rain, he loved it.  When it's raining outside, he'll say, "another beautiful, rainy day."  Even though we are in a drought, I make sure he always has rain boots that fit, because, when it finally rains, we are going out in it.
Liam tromping around in a rainstorm a few months ago

Thunder is another thing.  During the day, it's just a curiosity, but when it wakes you from a sound sleep, it can be terrifying.

I was in the kitchen in the wee hours, awakened myself by the storm and checking on our new rain chain, which was being overrun by the torrents of water. 
While I was staring out the window, I heard a thunder clap, followed by the pounding of feet on the hardwood floor and a flood of tears.  Liam was up and clearly frightened.  I tried to get him to tell me what had happened, but he was disoriented, so we cuddled in the dim, morning light.

Liam likes to have a "letter of the day" and we take out the big, "Concise Oxford English Dictionary" to find new words.  He grabbed his flashlight and the dictionary, but soon abandoned the book and hid the light under his pajama bottoms, looking for a distraction from his obvious torment.  "Look - you're bioluminescent!  You GLOW - that's a "g" word!"  Bioluminescent was an instant hit.  We took turns placing the flashlight all over ourselves to glow.  Then he placed it under the blanket and we got to talk about things that are alive "bio" and things that can just be luminescent.

The new word worked wonders and was the running joke for the rest of the morning.

Later, in Science class at Urban Homeschoolers, we were talking about the things in life which are seen and what is unseen.  We talked about hopes and fears - each child taking turns talking about each.  Hope was a little elusive for Liam, but fears were not.  "What are you afraid of, Liam?"

"Flies."  This is true.  It started one day when we were hiking and pestered incessantly by flies on the trail.  He's hated them ever since.  There happened to be a fly in the room, and that probably helped.

Later in class, We drew pictures of places that represented our happiest and most uncomfortable emotions
and then I led the group in an improvisation where (as a group representing grass), they had to speak in unison to an Orchid (played by Mr. Guest).  Without prompting, Liam joined right in.  Some of the discussion had been too philosophical for him, but this he could do.

As we left and headed towards the car, he said "I'm biolumenescent!"

Yes Liam, you do shine.

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