Irrational Fears

Warren is a cautious kid, but I wouldn’t say that he’s afraid of very much. He’s not a fan of the unfamiliar, but given enough time, space, and subtle encouragement, he’ll eventually tackle most things. He is willing to jump down off of higher ground or try out exotic foods. He doesn’t even mind meeting new people or talking in public. But for all his self-assurance don’t ask him to confront these two things:

Fog horns and flashing lights.

Say what??

I know. Trust me, I know. Colin and I can’t figure out where these demons became problematic but there it is. At times, his fear prevents him from going into his room by himself or, worse yet, will wake him in the middle of the night. (The night waking was thanks to the fog horn near our old apartment closer to the beach.)

No matter how much we try to settle his nerves with rational explanations about their purpose and necessity, or with calm discussions about the safety of these objects, he stubbornly clings to his fear. Something about the sound of the fog horn disturbs him so much he can’t believe that it won’t somehow harm him. Likewise with the flashing lights. If it’s ominously blinking from a tower on the hillside, or flickering down the street he is guaranteed to be leery. The very definition of irrationality.

But these last few weeks have provided an opportunity for more reasonable fears as we’ve had torrential downpours accompanied by a real, honest to goodness thunderstorm. (Think the von Trapp children huddled in Maria’s room singing “My Favorite Things” in The Sound of Music.) These storms were wicked-big, especially for Southern California. I loved the grand display of nature but Warren did not. He was in tears by the third flash and boom. Even after it passed and returned to just rain he whimpered at the sound of a large passing truck or low rumble of an airplane. That night he woke up and crawled into our bed because he was sure the thunderstorm was coming back with a vengeance to get him.

What ever happened to just being afraid of the dark?

3 thoughts on “Irrational Fears”

  1. I’m sure I didn’t help by insisting that Miranda detail her lightning encounter while he was looking on.

    By the way, I love the way you described the storms as a “grand display of nature.” You have such a way with words!

  2. We have a fear of volcanoes at our house. The lava is just going to burn our house down, so we have got to move! Ethan just can’t get over this idea. I know how you feel!

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