When I was in elementary school, I developed a terrorizing fear of thunderstorms. For a period of time in 5th grade, I wouldn't even go to school or stay a full day for fear of being home alone during one after school. The intensity of that fear diminished over time, but it wasn't until my early adulthood that I could even tolerate a storm.
I think it must have been becoming a mother that really changed it for me. I don't know if it was an instinct or something happened that forced me to change, but I remember when Olivia and I were first on our own and a storm came. I only remember holding her, which I did all the time anyway, and downplaying it. I don't remember feeling afraid. I remember teaching her about the sounds.
Now, when one blows up or I hear it coming, I settle in to listen or watch. If I'm at work, it's even better. Being up on the 6th floor gives a good view of the tree branch lightning bolts. If there's an empty patient room nearby, I sneak in to watch through the windows.
I'm sitting here now listening to the thunder and rain. The blinds are down so I don't see the lightning, but it just hits me how the hands of time have turned and how different things are in yet another aspect of my life.