Magic In The Storm
by Christopher De Vinck
condensed from Only The Heart Knows How to Find Them
as printed in the Readers Digest September 1995

      The children were nearly asleep when the wind began to brush against the tips of the oak trees. There was distant lightning and a sudden cool breeze at the windows. My wife, Roe, sat on the living-room couch reading a book, while I tried to decide if I should read, write or put out the garbage.
      The thunder. The summer storm and the children roared out at the same time.
      "I'll check the kids, Roe." I climbed the dark stairwell as a quick blue flash danced around me, I stepped into Karen's room first.
      "Daddy, I'm scared." She wept as she held her knitted doll. "That's okay, Karen. You can be afraid. Let's sit together and listen."
      There were more bursts of light and aggressive thunderclaps to rattle the windowpanes. That's when Michael dived into my lap. "Wow, that was a loud one." he said.
      Then my older son, David, stepped into Karen's room holding an open book about weather. "Here, Dad, this will explain to Karen and Micky all about thunder and lightning." David is always able to find helpful information on his bookshelf.
      I took the book from David and began reading aloud. We all looked at the illustrations as the storm outside flashed and roared. Then Michael went to the window and said, "Hey! Look what I found!"
      What he'd found was the flooded street. During every major rainstorm the street in front of our house floods - not enough to seep into the basement, but just enough to impress a little boy. We all ran to the window, knelt and looked outside as the sky lit up again and again.
      As we turned toward the room, I was convinced that the storm was nearly over, "Okay, everyone back to bed," I said.
      Then BOOM! Even I jumped. "Okay, everyone in Mommy and Daddy's room.
      We all leaped on our queen-sized bed. David stretched out to my right, Karen to my left and Michael on my stomach. As we lay there, I thought about my grandmother and how much she disliked fireworks and thunderstorms. She always said they reminded her of what it was like in Belgium during World War II when the night sky was illuminated with the flash of exploding bombs.
      Karen suggested singing a song. "I've got one I'll teach you." I said.

What do you want
When you gotta eat somethin'
And it's gotta be sweet
And it's gotta be a lot
And you gotta have it now?
What do you want?
Ooooooo Cracker Jack!
Candy-coated popcorn,
Peanuts and a prize,
That's what you get in
Cracker Jack!

      We sang it again and again between the thunder and lightning. "Peanuts and a prize," they shouted. FLASH! "That's what you get in Cracker Jack!" BOOM!
      The summers of my past had the same storms. How could I possibly guess that the summers of my future would include two little boys and a girl pressing their heads against my chest?
      When the storm passed, just as suddenly as it had begun, I announced, "Okay, everyone to bed."
      "Thank You, Daddy," Karen whispered as she kissed me good-night.
      "Thanks for bringing the book," I said to David as I tucked him in.
      After I carried Michael, asleep in my arms, to bed, I walked downstairs. I could barely hear a waning roll of thunder. Roe looked up from her book and said, "That was quite a storm."
      "It sure was," I answered. "It sure was."

Angel On A Doorstep ] Dumb Luck ] Ernie The News Hound ] My Favorite Valentine ] Flowers For Charlie ] Free As The Wind ] From Chicago, With Love ] Going Home Alone ] I Hate Kisses ] The Long Journey Home ] Let Kids Be Kids ] Magic Moment With My Son ] [ Magic In The Storm ] If You Want To Make A Difference ] The Man Who Hated Kids ] The Masters Touch ] Midnight Swing ] My Mother's Gift ] Mouths of Babes ] Mystery Of The Stone ] My Old Man Was A Sucker ] Old Scrap Iron ] My Number One Priority ] This Place of Summer Dreams ] Dad and the Revenooers ] Rich as a King ] Confessions of a Sports Mom ] Summer Dreams ] Thanks For Being My Father ] The Cat Years ] Veranda Beach ] Voice on the Wind ] When the Moon Follows Me ] What Woman Don't Understand About Guys ]

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