Two weeks ago during a stormy afternoon at work, the tornado sirens starting blaring. Everyone in my high-rise office building downtown marched down the stairs to the basement to wait out the danger. Helen was in an elementary school hallway 15 miles west of me, curled up in the "Official School Tornado Drill Position" along with all of her kindergarten classmates. When I arrived later that evening to pick her up, I learned that the power had been out at the school for several hours. The teachers all seemed a little frazzled, but it didn't seem like a big deal to Helen. She was very matter-of-fact about all of it.
A few days ago, I was cleaning out her backpack and found a picture crumpled up at the bottom. It doesn't show up as well in the scan, but she drew a little word balloon next to her head that says, "Oh no."
I talked to Helen about the time she spent in the hall on the way home that day, and she told me that she was not scared, because the teacher would occasionally pat them on the back and tell them they were doing a good job. That's a good message to hear at any age.