Oh good gravy, y’all. This has been a DAY. You know, let’s just say I’m not particularly fond of what 2012 has offered me so far. It can go ahead and perk the heck up.
I was enjoying a child-free lunch reading the internets and listening to a Grey’s Anatomy repeat over my shoulder when my mom called to commiserate over the news, specifically the weather reports of doom coming over the airwaves. Surely, I thought, in my happy zen, this was overstatement or something happening out in the country, la la la, can’t hear you. Eventually, I changed the channel over to the local midday news, and I thought I’d accidentally turned on Twister. I mean, I was expecting a flying cow in the picture I saw. And they kept mentioning the name of my town in the storm path. Was that really necessary?
I called my mom back, but I wasn’t really into stunning conversation at that point because I all could say was, “Holy crap.”
Still hoping to be well over on the better safe than sorry side of things, I decided to go ahead and pick Sabrina up from preschool a little early, what with the storm tracker saying we’d get hit with the rain and hail when I was supposed to be in the carpool line. She was in the middle of a tornado drill, poor thing. Because when you’re 3, a tornado drill involves lot s of singing “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” She started to cry when she saw me, not because she was scared, but because I was taking her home early. Tough luck, Kid.
We came home, and I set her up on the couch where we could keep an eye on the reports, which kept listing our town smack in the middle of the storm path. I kept waiting for it to veer off, but no. Each report, a more specific time estimation of when we’d get pelted. And all of the sudden, that minute was upon us, and it was like the war had begun. I put Sabrina n the hall closet (the safest place without windows and on an inside wall) and tried to watch a little more. But it just got louder and louder, and I got sufficiently scared to join her, radio on my lap.
I shut the door when the power went out, and we prayed.
It felt like an eternity, but it probably wasn’t all that long. It doesn’t take too long to inflict significant damage anyway. When things started to quiet down, I crept out to see the nightmare I’d had since we bought this house had finally come true: the skylight in the living room was busted. So was the one in the bathroom. I hate those skylights.
I made Sabrina stay put while I bustled around, trying to figure out what to do and trying to get someone, anyone, on the phone. I broke down with my husband a little, and then again with my brother because it was just too much to take, and I didn’t know if we were going to get hit again. I did manage to come to enough sense to disconnect the computer and TV and move them to drier rooms (yes, I lifted that behemoth TV all by myself out of sheer terror and adrenaline). I took the matters cover off Sabrina’s bed and spread it over the carpet beneath the shattered skylight. I tried to figure out when the school would release Sammy. Luckily, my neighbor finally got through to tell me I could get him, and she graciously walked over to stay with Sabrina while I went to get my boy. He was standing in the gym with one of his teachers, bawling his eyes out, and it broke my heart. But then the teacher told me he’d actually done really well during the storm and that he was crying because I was late to pick him up. He corroborated her story by yelling at me the entire walk home.
Thankfully, my folks came to bring us tarps and whisk the kids away for an unexpected slumber party. I got to cleaning up the inside while Chris covered the holes and went o help the neighbors do the same. And I even called the insurance company because we are probably going to need a new roof just 6 months after we replaced the old one.
The news is saying a tornado hit our town. I am awed and breath-taken that this all went on (also, hoping it was officially a tornado because that is a much bigger honor badge to earn and it means the insurance deductible should be smaller). I know it could have been so much worse, but in the moment, it was bad enough. I tried to be strong for my girl, but I also didn’t want to lie and I did let her see my fear a little, and I’m OK with that. If my daughter has learned that tornadoes and hail the size of whiffle balls scare her mommy, that’s true and fair. Mother Nature can be a ballbuster for sure.
There is more to clean up, more to fix, more to argue about with the insurance company, but not tonight. Tonight, I have self-medicated with pizza and cheesecake, and I’ll be thankful we are all safe to celebrate the 4th birthday of the most terrific little girl in the world when the sun comes up.