June 25, 2004


So it has a name. Good old Google.

Lilapsophobia, an abnormal and persistent fear of tornadoes and hurricanes.

Jenna's got it.

We're not talking curiosity, we're talking listening for sirens in the air on a partly cloudy day.

It started with watching a weather channel special on twisters. Educational, I thought. What could it hurt?

I have now heard the word twister or tornado approximately 139 times in the last five days. Most frequently as the last word before she falls asleep and the first word upon wakening. And then several times during the day.

"If a tornado comes, will it rip the top off our house?" -- she asked me that as I'm writing this. Just now. In the last three seconds.

As we reassure her and share with her our own fears at her age, I'm hoping that this is just a childhood phase that will wane in time.

But the look in her eyes--it's the look in her eyes and the biting of nails.

They spell Lilapsophobia.