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A Family Tradition for Thunderstorms

A Family Tradition for Thunderstorms

By Rachel Meeks

I think I started a new tradition for our family.

Last night we had a huge thunderstorm with storm clouds looming, lightning and thunder crashing, and welcome rain that pours all night and floods the ground. I love when it rains. My two little kids hate the thunder and lightning.

We had been watching the weather all afternoon, and it started just after my kids’ bedtime. We tucked the kids into bed, kisses, lights out, and just five minutes later the lightning began.

I knew it was coming—the cries from the kids’ rooms that lightning was scary. I knew it would be impossible to get the kids to go to sleep. I resolve to put blackout curtains in their windows before next time.

My daughter ran into the living room and hid under the blanket on the couch. It’s the first storm of spring. I imagined spending the next hour reassuring our kids and trying to get them to go to sleep, but then I had a better idea.


She’s completely confused why I would recommend doing this. “But I already brushed my teeth!” says my rule follower.

We head into the kitchen. She runs and gets the bowl. I heat up the stove. Making popcorn on the stove only takes two minutes. Heat a few tablespoons of grapeseed or coconut oil, pour in a layer of kernels, cover it with the lid, and shake the pot over the burner. My favorite part is when the kernels all explode within the same few seconds and the lid almost comes off.

My littlest one runs into the kitchen too. He’s wearing striped pajamas, and he’s so scared that he’s clutching three of his stuffed animal friends for protection. He gets his own small bowl.

Buttery fingers, giggling, tummies full of popcorn, they forgot about the storm. An hour later the lightning gave forth to steady rain, and the kids went to bed happy.

Thunderstorms just became something positive for our family, and now I’m looking for other new traditions to start.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

About the Author

Rachel Meeks

Rachel Meeks is the voice behind the popular blog Small Notebook, a resource for simplifying and organizing your home. (Because it’s so much easier to b...

Rachel Meeks is the voice behind the popular blog Small Notebook, a resource for simplifying and organizing your home. (Because it’s so much easier to be a parent when you’re not surrounded by a ton of stuff.)

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  • Julie W

    March 20, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Oh that was always the tradition in my house growing up…Can hardly wait until my boys are 4 to continue the tradition!

  • Lisa

    March 20, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Oh!  That’s awesome!  so many times the kiddos reactions are to our reactions, not the actual thing.  LOVE this idea!

  • Weatherb

    March 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    As a meteorologist I highly recommend this idea!! Also teach them how to figure out how close the storms are by counting the seconds between the lightning and the thunder. They can figure out if the storm is getting closer or farther away!!!

  • Rachel

    March 22, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I love this, but from the opposite perspective — I’m afraid of storms but so far my 4-year-old is not. I don’t want her to catch on that I’m afraid, so I think making it a special event is a great idea!

  • Katie

    April 7, 2012 at 8:45 am

    That is awesome!! What a great way to turn something that seems negative, into something that is positive and fun. You inspire me!

    When I was growing up, my parents used to tell us the thunder was God bowling and the lightning was when he got a strike. 🙂 Anything you can do to make it fun!! I now LOVE thunderstorms!