The last time I recall playing a board game was the last time we lost electricity. I think it was Payday? There's something about a storm that brings all of the family out of their corners and into one room together. Without anything digital. While Seth is far past any childhood fear of storms, the thought of being de-digitalized makes him tremble.
The storm didn't blow in until after dinner. And so even Seth, who rarely leaves the sanctuary of his bedroom after the dinner hour, made his way downstairs to wait for the storm.
There's nothing like a good storm to bring a family together.
We could hear the thunder in the distance but no one seemed impressed by it. It was clearly too dark for 6:30. There was a wind picking up so I thought I'd take the plants off the porch. I thought twice after I opened the door and caught glimpse of the sky. I rather it be my dahlias (which appear to be duds anyway) than me.
My obsessive compulsive nature led me to The Weather Channel. I must truly have an illness. I hate this channel and yet I compulsively watch it. Endlessly. I get lost in it. It took me years to break my sickness with CNN, which I consider a far worse disease so perhaps there is hope for me yet.
It's not that I have a problem with The Weather Channel's purpose. I think it has a great purpose. But it's nearly always wrong. I find that more often then not, I'm better off planning in a way that is against whatever The Weather Channel forecasts. I wish I enjoyed statistics; this is something I would be interested in determining.
If my thesis is correct, The Weather Channel is an entire advertising scam. Brilliant, but a scam, nonetheless. Not only does it provide you with a lot of inaccurate bunk, but it's publicly accepted as an informational source when it's simply a masquerade of advertisers. Compounding this is the fact that in between inaccurate forecasts is a slew of weather propaganda! It features programs on devastating storms around the clock. Storm Stories! Storms which lead you to purchasing products made to make your home safer in a storm situation. I can't even find out what the weather isn't going to be before I go to bed each night because between 8 and 9 PM is this show dedicated to devastating storms. I am bombarded by fear before I go to sleep.
Remember, you heard it here first! Anyway, I digress...
So we're all gathered in the living room together. The thunder was getting louder; the storm was getting closer. The Weather Channel confirmed there was a storm in my area NOW but I'm not sure what it had actually FOREcasted. Dana was in the rocker by the window with Liam. I asked him to move over to the couch with the baby so he did. Seth was stretched out on his fuzzy orange blanket on the floor near where I was sitting on the couch. Dad was snoozing on the love seat across the room, obviously worn from our busy Saturday. I planned on putting him to bed after the storm.
Both Seth and Dana seemed tempted to scare Lily. It was thundering and she seemed completely unaware. I tried to remind them that even though it might be fun to scare Lily now to see her reaction (which is kind of fun, even though that sounds horrible...) would not be so fun tonight when we all wanted to go to sleep.
The thunder rumbled more loudly now. All of our eyes were drawn to Lily.
Seth asked Lily, "Aren't you scared?"
"No!" she boomed. "I am not scared!"
This girl has been subjected to so many horror stories of dragons and monsters that the thunder is nothing. She is fearless.
Her eyes grew big as she looked towards the window. She said quietly, "The Dark Dog is coming!"
Seth started snickering. Dana thought she meant this little dog we had seen on our neighbor's roof that morning.
"Do you mean the dog across the street?" he asked.
"Nooooo...the dark dog!" she said again, jabbering away a lot of other nonsense I couldn't quite decipher.
Seth said, "No, Lily! It's the Dark Doll! The Dark Doll!"
Seth explained how he had told her this story about the dark doll who comes to suck your soul in the storm.
I was really looking forward to bedtime now...
"I'm going to suck your soul, Seth!" announced Lily. That's one thing I never thought I would hear my two and a half year old say to her brother. Of course, I did name her 'Lilith'. So.
First, she barked at Seth and began to growl like a dog.
She scooted over to him, leaned down, and licked Seth's face.
Then, she barked a few more times, and licked Seth's face again.
"Ahhhhhh! Seth!!" I shouted, "She licked your face! Remember how use to do that to me? She licked your face! Now! That's karma!"
Seth couldn't get Lily to stop barking at him and licking him. I couldn't stop laughing because Seth used to do that to me when he was little. I would lean in to give him a sweet kiss, and he would quick lick my face wet. Yuck.
There was a bit more activity than I would have liked for a storm huddle but our family has changed so much since the days when it was only me, Seth and Dana. It was easier to huddle around a board game with tea light candles when we weren't constantly intercepting either a toddler or a Grandpa Bob. But it was probably still more sedate in the living room than it typically would have been at this hour of the evening. It settled us.
By the time it cleared, Liam had fallen asleep, without us noticing, and so had Dad. 2 out of 7 put down.
And the next time Dad asks me "Where are we going to sleep tonight?", I must remember how many times across my lifespan I must have asked him, "Are we there yet?"