Monday, February 4, 2013


It's not uncommon for children from hard places to experience fear that might not make sense to the adults or peers around them. Loud noises or voices, quick movements, sudden changes in plans, inability to access food or water and a number of other things can trigger fear responses in children who have experienced trauma.

Some of Team Robinson are known to struggle with fear responses at times. Learning to identify the types of things that trigger fear responses in our children has been life changing for us. Trying not be actually BE a fear trigger is something I'm still working on. It's sad to say, but I might have been responsible for freaking out my little darlings more than a time or two.

You see, questionable weather is my trauma trigger.  If there's a tornado watch, I will be a basket-case for the duration.  It's just a given.  So, last Thursday when storms repeatedly rolled through Georgia, I was determined to remain calm - you know, be the grown-up and all.  Thanks to the National Weather Service's special alert tone, the phone provided the play-by-play as the storms rolled in.

Just to be neurotic, I decided that we should spend the day in the basement. With an ever-so-calm tone of voice, I asked everyone to put on their shoes...and two people to put on their pants....and then I ushered them down the steps to the basement.  I know they thought I was a little weird for piling them all on the sofa in the back corner, safely under the house, but I played it off cool saying, "It's SO fun to watch movies this way, isn't it?"

I think Olivia rolled her eyes.

And Brooklyn started pushing people that touched her.

When I jaunted up the steps to start lunch, I heard someone say, "She's freaked out by the storm, y'all. Bless her heart!" Nice!!

I happily carried big bowls of mac-and-cheese, green peas and rolls down the steps and to the air hockey table with a big grin on my face, holding back the panicky WE'RE GOING TO DIE expression until I was back in the kitchen alone.

About the time the oven timer went off for the chicken nuggets, I heard the phone alert again....this time a tornado warning in our town.  I made the mistake of peeking out the door and snapping a picture of impending doom. Quick as lightening I was down those steps and face-to-face with 8 beautiful little ones looking to my neurotic face for reassurance.  It wasn't 10 seconds before the tears started, and I felt terrible.

As I was mentally bashing myself for being a poor encourager, the real concern for the hysterical sobs of my young ones became clear.

NUGGETS.  It seems I left the nuggets in the oven.  They would burn up.  We would never be able to eat them.  We may never get to eat nuggets again and now we can't eat them now.  (With my crew, fear about food shortages is always stronger than fear for personal safety.)

I knew that I had to do what any of you would do, risk my life to go upstairs during the tornado to retrieve the nuggets from the oven - because the thought of not eating the nuggets is what freaks out my peeps during a tornado!

Well, as the story goes, the tornado bypassed us....Praise God....100 nuggets made their way into 8 hungry bellies, and we all enjoyed a cozy movie together. All in all, it was a crazy fun day.  At least, that's what my little darlings thought of it.

I am almost certain that just I heard the big girls giggling about me from their beds.  Surely I didn't just hear the word "scaredy cat!!"  I am not a scaredy cat!!  Be nice to your mother, girls!