This is a simple story of a simple family trying to slow down this crazy life and enjoy the "moments"...

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

About Last Night...


Let's talk about the storm last night.

It was loud.
It was windy.
It was strobe-light-esque.
It was violent.
It was yucky.

In my fishbowl home there are two large (and by large I mean 4 ft by 5 ft) curved windows on our staircase landing.

These windows are actually made of some kind of plexi-glass...although I'm ashamed to admit that it took me seven six several a few months to realize this.

So when plexi-glass meets a hard hard does this wavy-reverberation thing.

(think of a sound effect where someone waves a huge piece of flimsy sheet metal in the air as fast as they can to create the sound of a water buffalo stampede)

Enter 60-70 mph gusts.

Pretty much sounds like it's thundering inside.

Add to that the fact that when the wind blows horizontally the rain actually comes IN these windows and swamps the landing.

Add to that the fact the indoor windstorm makes all of the pocket doors in the house (and trust me....there are bunches of those) especially the one to our bedroom rattle rattle RATTLE in their pockets.

Add to that our copper roof which is DIRECTLY over the upstairs rooms (think: no attic space at all) and imagine how gi-normous raindrops and various twigs and branches and possibly sad little squirrels and raccoons sound when they CRASH onto it right over your head.

End result?

A beautiful indoor concert featuring the sounds of hell's gates.

In my humble opinion, anyway.

So the heavy winds started a little before 8 o'clock.

Carolyn passed out like a frat daddy at Mardi Gras went to sleep peacefully around then....and I cranked up her sound machine hoping she'd sleep through the noise.

The boys turned their lights out around 8:30.

Then our little game of "Whack-a-Mole" began.

8:39:  Ethan.  Complains of lumps and itches in head.  RH removes 2 ticks.  That's a whole different layer of yuck.

8:53:  Ethan.  Complains that he fell asleep (in the 2 minutes he was in there) and woke up and can't sleep.  Sent back to room with sheep-counting instructions.

9:09:  Bennett.  Requests 10 more minutes of reading time because he's not tired.  Request granted.

9:11:  Ethan.  Requests more reading time because Bennett is reading.  Request granted.

9:20:  Ethan.  Can't sleep.  Sheep instructions repeated in a louder voice.

9:29:  Bennett.  Can't sleep because Ethan is counting too loudly.  Sent back to room with "pillow-over-head" instructions.

9:49:  Bennett and Ethan:  "Can we PLEASE PLEASE read for a few more minutes because we are SOOOO not tired and we both want to read and we just can't sleep and we really can't fall asleep PLEASE can we just have ten minutes?"  Sent to bed with apples and 10 minute reprieve BUT accompanied with instructions that unless they're bleeding or puking I don't want to see them until morning.

As they went back to bed Ethan looks over his shoulder and says, "If you need me I'll be in my bottom bunk tonight....not my top."
(note:  running along side his top bunk is an enormous (6 ft by 2.5 ft) window)

Me:  "Why not the top where you always sleep?"

(sounds of winds roaring and whipping in background)

Ethan:  "I just think the bottom is a better place for me tonight."

(more wind)

Me: (pause) "Are you nervous about the storm?"

Ethan: "NO!  NO!  I just like that bunk tonight."

And they ran off to their room.

And I imagined Ethan looking out of that huge window and the trees bending over in the gusts while the motion lights flick on and off and quietly climbing down the ladder to the "view-less" bottom bunk.

And yeah...
I teared up.

When I went in to check on them after 10 minutes and they were both asleep....cuddled up with all of their childhood animal friends.

So I turned their sound machine way up and headed for my bed.

And my phone buzzed with a severe weather warning.

And the TV began reporting possible tornadoes in Lebanon, Missouri.

And RH and decided that if the sirens went off I would grab Carolyn and he would get the boys.

And my phone buzzed again.

And more warnings came across the local news.

And I cracked a window so I could hear the siren if it sounded.

And the windows rattled.

And both dogs (who never come upstairs) circled our bed over and over again.

And Joplin came under a tornado watch.

And RH fell asleep...confident in my ability to neurotically and psychotically keep tabs on the weather situation and awaken him in time to lead him to safety...exhausted after a 11 hour day at work.

And I checked facebook where so many of my Joplin friends were posting about very sleepless their nights were proving to be
...and how many of them had shaking kids in their beds
...and how some of them had kids AND dogs in their beds
...and how some were thinking about how awful this spring was going to be
...and how some were mad that they couldn't enjoy thunderstorms anymore
...and how the ones in the FEMA trailers felt like they were in shaking tin cans.

And I watched TV/checked my phone/observed facebook until the storms finally passed over around midnight.

Then I checked the kids one more time, mopped up the small lake on my landing, and fell asleep.

But here's the deal.

I wasn't really scared of being hit by a tornado.

(No....I don't so much want that to happen...but that wasn't what kept me wide-eyed and rigidly awake.)

It was more that I didn't want to MISS THE WARNING.

I didn't want to "not hear" a siren because the sound was masked by the storm outside (or noise inside) of my house.

I didn't want to miss that "freight train" noise because I'd drifted off.

I wanted to be READY.

(Cocked, locked and ready to my RH says...)

You see...if the watch became a warning,
if the noise got constant and louder,
if I myself saw a "hook" in the storm pattern...

Then I could take control of the situation.
Wake up RH and scoop up kids and head to the basement.

But if I missed the warning....


You see....

I know that God kept us safe last May.
He has a plan for us....and that plan is good.

I fully believe that He can and will keep us safe should we face another tornado.
I don't doubt His power....not even the tiniest bit.

But maybe I put too much stock in my control?

I mean....if He's going to keep us on this side of eternity for a while...
Then it doesn't really make a difference if I hear the train-a-comin' or not.




I know how it felt to not be able to physically keep my babies safe (see this blog)...
And that was sickening.

But I also know how amazing it felt to turn my baby completely over to God...
And that was beautiful.

Control, let go.  Grab it up, put it down.

Tug-of-war between my faith and my human-ness.

And I'm embarrassed to say that last mortal self won.

Do I think it's wrong to be prepared and on alert?

Absolutely NOT.

God gave us early warning systems and radar for a REASON.

But being so scared that I won't be able to save my children that I manically scroll between 4 forms of technology (as well as staring out of various windows while I am praying) for several hours until I notice that my shoulders actually hurt because I'm so tense?

Maybe a little?

I'm not sure about this.

Even the Israelites set guards up around their camps to warn of invasions, right?
( I think I've read that somewhere...)

Maybe it's my mind-set that was the problem.

I was genuinely bona-fide-ly truly freakishly worried about not being able to help my kids.

I think that maybe if I work on being prepared WHILE AT THE SAME TIME finding a peace that He is in control of the whole situation (not just whether or not we're going to get whacked) might bring me to the correct mental compromise.

I'm going to work on that.

It's not that I mind being the sole sentry while my husband and kids sleep peacefully (and how in the Sam heck they do that with that NOISE is beyond me) trusting in me to alert them to any dangers....

It's not that I mind getting 3 or 4 hours of sleep...

It's not even that I mind cleaning up a swamp on my stairs.

But I could do without the adrenaline rush from such a heightened sense of worry.
(That rush will keep you awake long after the storm is over,  I tell you.)

God loves my children even more than I can possibly imagine loving them.

He has plans for them....GOOD PLANS.

I am not privy to those plans....but I gotta trust that.

God gave me the job of looking after these kids while they're here on earth....however long that may be.

So I will do the best I can.

And I will trust Him to do the rest.

And I will probably keep on watching the radar on stormy nights...
And stay signed up for weather alerts on my phone....
And keep my emergency box in the basement well stocked.

But I will turn off facebook.



Amy Stevens said...

Once again, you capture it perfectly. I was shocked by how scared I was. Too soon, too familiar.

Thank you!

Bec said...

Oh dear. From the moment you posted on facebook last night I was so worried for you guys. Because family that live hundreds of miles away can worry and want to be able to keep you all safe too :)