Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shake-a Shake-a Boom

We have developed a little problem around here that I can't quite shake (please note there is a pun there, and you will get it in a moment).  It has started to hinder our lives a bit, and really hinder my ability to sleep.  Neither of which is good.  The Big One has developed a serious fear of earth quakes.
Having never been in a real one, I'm scared of them too, but the vast majority of time,it never enters my mind.  Her problem is that it is always on her mind.
I think the recent quake in VA set it off.  I had started using the news as a tactic to keep the kids from watching TV with me.  IT stopped working at some point in time, and The Big One came in and watched a lot of the quake coverage on TV.  IT wasn't a bad one, but because it was so uncommon in that part of the US, it got a ton of coverage.  Hence it seems much bigger than what it was.
Now, she is absolutely, completely, terrified of them, and sure that one will strike at any moment.
Saturday night, she was supposed to spend the night with a friend.  This is a friend she has had since Kindergarten, and it was the first time they had spent the night together, just the two of them with out their Girl Scout troop, or any other friends.  They were ridiculously excited.
Then, about 11pm that night, I got a phone call.  The Big One was in tears and wouldn't calm down.  She wanted to come home.  After I went to get her, we started talking about what scared her.  Her Friend had fallen asleep, and The Big One was left laying in the little girl's room, thinking about things.  The girl has bunk beds, and The Big One was terrified that there would be an earthquake, and the top portion of the bed would fall down on her and crush her.  I suppose a valid concern in some regard, but I would venture that the beds were well constructed enough to handle all the torture and extreme stress brought on by younger children, and they would probably survive the kind of small quakes we get frequently around here.  Regardless, she wasn't about to be there any longer, and I had to get her.
I'm really surprised by this sudden onset of earthquake fear.  While she wasn't born here, The Big One has been raised in CA pretty much most of her life.  We moved here when she was 15 months old.  I had always thought that kids who were raised here would develop some sort of environmental immunity to the fear of earthquakes.  They happen so much, that they should be routine.  I may have miscalculated that.  The Big Little One hasn't gotten scared.  Perhaps you need an actual CA birth certificate to get that immunity.  I'm not sure.  Maybe there is an earthquake immunity booster shot of some sort that I can give her.
I realize that a little bit of fear is actually healthy.  We need to be aware that quakes are real, and serious, and respect that their potential power enough to always be cautious, but there is a line you have to draw in being scared.  Too much fear is a bad thing.  I'm really just hoping this will pass and she will get back to her normal self soon.  I don't want any of us to miss out on life because of fear.