Driving Sam to school yesterday afternoon, I heard a news report on the radio that a man in Oklahoma had been killed when a tornado crushed the shed where he had taken shelter during these crazy storms most of the country has been experiencing. I immediately looked in my rear view to see if Sam had heard it.
Of course he had, his big beautiful eyes full of concern.
"Mom, why was there a tornado? Was that man in his house? Why wasn't his house safe? Is he with baby Jesus now? Will we get a tornado? The wind is blowing hard today..."
I reexplained the tornado facts we've already discussed with him, toeing that fine line between informing our kids, giving them respect and a healthy fear of dangerous things without scaring the hell out of them. Not an easy task.
Then I explained that the man from Oklahoma might have been stranded somewhere or might not have had a home to go to and that's why he wasn't in a safe place when the tornado came. But that he is in heaven now and God is taking care of him.
Those answers seemed to appease him, but his big old blue eyes still looked worried.
Sam goes to kindergarten in the fall (ugh) and, since he seemed to be concerned about the safety issue, I told him about the tornado drills his school will practice so that if a real tornado ever comes, they'll know what to do and where to go to stay safe.
His eyes softened a little at that news and he said, "You know, Mommy...that's pwetty (pretty) handy!".
He's brought up tornadoes once and the Oklahoma man a couple times today, asking if he had kids or a Mommy...I hate for him to worry. But am proud of his compassion.