Ba Ba Ba BOOOOOM!  For many years now my kids have come scurrying from every nook and cranny of our house at the first sound of a clap of thunder.  “Mom! Thundercake!!!!”

This is a tradition I started in our family when some of my kids were still learning to walk on their own.  Over the years, it has grown and evolved into a comforting family time during every thunderstorm.

The book, Thundercake, is about a little girl who is afraid of the sound of thunder.  During an approaching storm, her grandmother tells her they are going to make thundercake but they have to hurry before the storm reaches the house.  The little girl doesn’t know what thundercake is but she follows her grandmother and helps her collect all the needed ingredients on the farm in order to make the cake.  While gathering the ingredients the thunder is booming in the background and the little girl has to help her grandmother despite the mean kicking cow, the fiesty pecking hen and climbs up a trellis to gather some tomatoes.  They get back to the house and mix the batter and stick it in the oven.  Just as the storm is bellowing over the house, the cake is ready and they each enjoy a slice of thundercake and tea together.  The grandmother points out to her granddaughter that she overcame all her fears while helping her and that she was, in fact, a very brave girl.

It’s such a sweet story and it helped my boys overcome their fear of thunder when they were little.  Now, they get wildly excited when there are claps of thunder outside.  We have, however, made rules about thundercake over the years.  1) It has to be thundering outside, not just raining.  2) If we’re not at home when it starts to thunder, we’re not making thundercake.  3) If we have already eaten dinner and we hear thunder then it’s too close to bedtime and we’re not making thundercake.  4) We usually wait to eat thundercake until after dinner (even if the thunder has stopped) so daddy can eat it with us but in the beginning we ate it while the storm was overhead.  5) Not everyone knows how to make thundercake and my children need to accept that fact.  (Grandma C. was babysitting them one time during a storm and they told her they were shocked she didn’t know how to make thundercake since she’s a grandma.  Sorry mom.)

Throughout the day today we’ve had thunderstorms rolling past and we made a thundercake before dinner.  It stopped raining just long enough for me to grill veggies and chicken and then the thunder started to rumble again as we ate our meal on the back deck.  For dessert, we enjoyed our cake and listened to daddy read the story to us this time instead of mommy.