Anxiety (Get Nervous)

Last Monday right after we finished Family Home Evening the power went out. Having experienced blackouts before, this was no big deal, right? This was a piece of cake . . . 

Holy smoke!

You would have thought the world had come to an end!
Wait, was this the answer to prayer? Was our puberty trial over!?! No such luck, just a blown transformer!
In less time then it took to wind up an old fashioned alarm clock, Ethan wound him self up with anxiety over the fact the power was out. Which was both fascinating and exhausting.

For the next forty-five minutes he, 

1) Started pacing the floor immediately and began asking repetitively, 'Dad, what happened to the lights? Where are the lights? . . . Dad, the lights are off, why are they off?'

2) Realized he needed a flash light, darted off down the dark hall to his bedroom to retrieve one of a dozen flashlights he owns. (yeah, he's obsessive with flashlights, having both flashlights, and headlights)

3) Returned to pacing the floor with flashlight in hand, 'Dad, the lights are off, why are they off? . . .'

4) As he paced, he checked each room, looked out each window, paced some more, and asked once again, 'Dad, what happened to the lights? Where are the lights? . . .'


But what was fascinating, was that he is not afraid of the dark. He's actually not afraid of anything, let alone the dark! So why the anxiety? 

His favorite game is to play Hide and Seek in the house. This is done by waiting until night time, turning off all the lights in the house (including covering anything that emits lights, like alarm clocks, DVD players, modems, etc. with papers, books, etc). One person counts and then the rest of us hide somewhere in the dark house.

When Ethan is the finder, he always carries his flashlight (the little cheater - we have to tell him to turn it off regularly, to which he replies, 'But, I can't see. . .') and wanders the house looking for us. As he does we can hear him say, in this creepy Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang-child-napper-voice, 'You can't hide from me . . . I'm going to find you . . .'

If we let him, he would want to play this game everyday for hours on end. Which baffles me. Why then the anxiety over the power being out. What makes this different then turning them all off on our own. Is that it, is it just that simple? Is the anxiety caused because somebody else turned the lights off, and we can't turn them on until they say we can? Is the anxiety a result of not having control over the lights? I wonder . . .

After an hour, we were able to convince him that it was late, nothing bad was going to happen and it was time for bed. He still has difficulty sleeping in his own room, so he crawled up next to me, bundled up under the covers, and closed his eyes. Within seconds he fell asleep, and drifted into his dreams, but that is another story . . . 

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