We are in the heart of hurricane season here in the Southeast and Griffin is doing remarkably well compared to years past. Griffin’s infatuation with the weather started in 2004 or 2005, when we had incredibly active storm seasons. His fear of thunderstorms has been intense ever since. Desperate for anything to ease his anxiety, we thought, if he could see weather reports and know what’s coming, Griffin’s storm related angst would be somewhat allayed. So, we introduced him to The Weather Channel.
It wasn’t long before Griffin became a weather junkie. Sometimes, while surfing the web in search of old tornado footage, Griffin keeps The Weather Channel blaring in the background. It’s like he has his own weather command center. The National Hurricane Center has nothing on him.
Being constantly tuned into the weather has done absolutely nothing for his trepidation of thunderstorms, but it does give him something to talk to his friends and family about. Obsessively. When he chit-chats about the local conditions, it is not idle small talk. He takes his conversations about the weather much more seriously than most. He considers Nick Walker a close friend and he always wakes up with Al.
Nevertheless, Griffin’s dream of a career as a meteorologist is probably not going to be fulfilled. Inconsolable crying and quivering in Mrs. Big Daddy’s walk-in closet during a mid afternoon shower is not a great quality for a storm chaser. His dash for the closet at the slightest chance of precipitation is so routine that his sister sometimes brings him snacks, his blankets, and books to read during particularly long storms.
The fact we live in the Southeast is truly unfortunate for poor Griffin. During hurricane season (which is now officially considered to run from March 1st through February 28th annually, except for leap years) our weather varies from hot and humid, to blistering and muggy, to scorching and stifling. To add insult to injury, there is always a 100% chance of afternoon typhoons.
If we let him watch our local weatherman (aka “Chicken Little”), Griffin would surely convince us to amass a warehouse full of ply wood, flashlight batteries, bottled water, sand bags, and canned beans in anticipation of the inevitable “Big One”. Our local news has been forecasting the imminent arrival of a Category 9 Storm every week since 1993. The actual local climate coupled with our absurd media hysteria, doesn’t bode well for a kid who sweats like his dad and is terrified of the rain.
During one squall last summer, Griffin hunkered down in the closet and sobbed about how much he wanted to be storm chaser. When Mrs. Big Daddy calmly explained that storm chasers, like Jim Cantore, don’t hide in the closet when it drizzles, he nearly vomited. I am reasonably certain that crying so hard you puke is not what the Weather Channel is looking for in it’s on air personalities.
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