Lessons from the storm

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It's been an eventful few days at BadAssMama Central. As you may have heard ( if you live in the Northeast, it's ALL you've heard), we've had a freakish bout of weather in the past week. First, an earthquake rocked several states from Virginia to NYC. Forty two flights of stairs and several Xanax later, I finished the work day st home. Four days later, Hurricane Irene paid us a visit.

You can really tell what's important in life when Al Roker tells you that a hurricane is barreling straight toward your neck of the woods. As the storm track became clear, I wanted nothing more than to hog-tie my husband (he refused to leave the house), pack up my kids and as many cans of Chef Boyardee that could fit in the back of the truck and drive through the night to Chicago.

I didn't do any of those things (my husband is surprisingly strong and apparently knows how to escape a straight jacket... not that I keep one handy or anything). Instead, I packed a bag of clothes and toiletries (just in case we were instructed to evacuate), placed our passports, birth certificates and other important documents in waterproof bags, filled a cooler with shelf-stable food and prepared to ride it out at home. I mapped out the nearest shelters and
evacuation routes, just in case, and Angel put away anything that might become a projectile in the projected 80-100 mile per hour winds.

And then we waited.

The waiting is the hard part. We waited until the boys were fast asleep then brought them downstairs to our make-shift fortress in the basement. I kept the bags in the bathroom, as
that felt like the safest place to be when the winds actually hit (Linette survived that way with Mrs. McKlusky when the twister hit Wisteria Lane, right?). We slept in fits and starts as the winds howled above our heads. Sleep came only from sheer exhaustion as we were both tensed to grab the boys at the first hint of danger (both of whom slept soundly through the night, by the way. They had no idea we'd even moved them from their beds until the next morning. We told them we were camping...)

Morning finally came and we we still alive. The power went out around 9am but danger never knocked on our doorstep. Well into the day, once it was clear that the storm had passed, we
ventured down the street to break the 2 days of cabin fever. Then we saw it. Trees down everywhere. The street to the daycare, blocked. Homes sliced in two. Stories of trees falling mere inches from sleeping babies. The randomness of it all was breathtaking. What was undeniable was that we were truly blessed.

Two days later, we are still without power. The threat is gone, but the feel of undeniable grace remains. There is nothing more terrifying than trying to protect your children from an
unpredictable, unstoppable threat. We're well out of the danger zone and I'm still not quite right.

But I am grateful. Eternally grateful.

Gina said...

I know just how u feel i weathered camille and Katrina two of the most BADASS HUSSIES to ever grace the coast .... it is a life changing and eye opening experience for sure and in the end the excitement is a break in the hussel of life and mother nature makes u SLOW DOWN and think about all the things u take for granted!

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