My sons are clearly not Midwesterners.
Thunderstorms rolled into the Salt Lake Valley late this afternoon, raining out Michael's baseball game. It wasn't certain the game would be called (the storms moved in right as we were getting ready to go), so we still had to go to the park The rain, which had subsided a little as we were leaving, turned up a notch on the way, and the puddles on the field and the occasional lightning confirmed the postponement.
What was funny was the boys' reaction to the first thunderstorms of the year. Michael asked a lot of questions, and Ben was a little freaked out by all the thunder -- he was even nervous as he went to bed, even though the storms had passed. Had they been Midwesterners instead of Utahns, they would be more used to thunderstorms. They would know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning (I don't think there's been one tornado watch in the 13 years we've lived here). They would mildly appreciate the surreal gray and what it feels like outdoors (even if it's not raining yet) under the storm.
So I confirmed for the boys we were safe from lightning in the car. I didn't tell them about the time lightning hit our apartment building in Madison and fried the modem on our computer. I didn't tell them the story when I was at Summerfest in Milwaukee in 1991 when a powerful thunderstorm passed through and my friends and I were stuck under a giant tent that I was sure would collapse underneath the wind. I didn't tell them that when I was maybe 11, I was in the car with my mom and sisters, and she had to pull over on Harlem Avenue in Niles because it was raining. I didn't even tell them that just last summer, we were at my dad's house when a huge storm rolled through, and they survived (I loved it by the way; I miss non-tornadic storms such as that).
Lori told Ben that if it started thundering tonight, he could come to our room to feel safe. The forecast for tomorrow -- more isolated thunderstorms. The boys might get used to spring in the Midwest yet.