I should be sitting outside enjoying this beautiful weather. It's absolutely gorgeous out there. 82 degrees. Some little puffy clouds floating by. Slight breeze. Birds chirping. I think one of them just smiled.
Instead, I'm standing here willing my heart to stop racing. Half of my town is being asked to evacuate because of a crazy mega-hurricane that's coming our way. Our house is located just west of the evacuation zone so we don't have to leave. ...yeay? I don't know. Part of me thinks packing up all our favorite things and driving out to Hersheypark would be fun. Even if it rains there, it still involves a lot of chocolate. Unlike here which involves filling up bathtubs with water and doing other things Just In Case.
That's the part that scares me. The Just In Case part. I have lived with Mr. Just In Case for as long as I can remember. Just In and I are in a weird relationship... I do everything he asks because he scares me so badly. Once I had kids, our relationship got much, much worse. Now, EVERYthing I do is because of Just In Case. Why did I put an extra pair of underwear for each kid in my car's glove box? Just In Case.
But this time it's not just a silly little man with a funny name I made up telling me to do stuff... it's the police and my family and the Weather Channel. And I'm scared. My son is upstairs sleeping like a baby. He IS a baby...my baby. I want to go stare at his angel face while he naps. My daughter and my husband are out riding bikes together. I can't help but pray they'll have the same route available next week.
We cleaned up the yard and put away everything that could blow away. We tucked all the playhouses and large toys into the woodline. It looks like a little dwarf village out there. We're charging all our electronic stuff. I'm getting candles and ice ready. ...and now we wait.
My heart has finally stopped racing after one helluva weekend. I am a very thankful mom right now. There are many many things to be grateful for, and I surely am. Hurricane Irene scared me much worse than Just In Case ever did. If she told me to do something, I did it. No questions. I heard her thumping outside, so we took the kids and slept in the basement last night. Thank goodness for tents and glow sticks. The kids were happy and excited. "Dad, after dinner it's hurricane time!"
My son was smily and anxious. I was anxious, too, but in a completely different way. Having kids has made me a nervous Nelly. Roller coasters are no longer fun. Trying new foods is the extent of adventerous to which I'm willing to go now.
Anyway, it's over now. Even though my heart slowed down, my mind is still at top speed thinking about last night's scare. My kids are champs. My husband is a champ. Our house is a champ. All our trees are champs...well, except one that decided to crash through a fence next to our house. That one took one for the team.
Yes, our decision to stay home worked out well. But I'll tell you, trying to fall asleep last night after losing power - holding my kids next to me on both sides - was one of the hardest things I ever tried doing. To wake up next to them felt like Heaven. So I then immediately started praying thanks for all the blessings we were given last night. Then I prayed for all the people who weren't so fortunate. And I realized how much Just In Case might be annoying and tedious sometimes, but he made me and my family feel safe. My old friend Just In Case.