Before I had kids, I’m not sure I ever fully appreciated the magnitude of natural disasters. I’m sure I was annoyed when my power went out, or a couple feet of snow kept me stuck in my apartment. But it was nothing like the pure panic that shoots through you on a Sunday afternoon after a LONG weekend of parenting small children when all you want is a few moments of downtime while your kid watches a video, and the power goes out. And you discover that except for your child’s Little Tykes tiger flashlight (that roars when you turn it on), you are woefully unprepared for an emergency.
But that’s nothing compared to the Snowmaggedon that hit us a couple years later. It’s not that much fun to get several feet of snow when you have a toddler who’s only just learned to walk on solid ground. And being housebound for days on end can make a mama a little crazy, to say the least.
But why stop there? How about a freak earthquake during the kids’ naptime? Whatcha gonna do now, Mom? (Jump into the bathtub and convince your son it’s not an alien attack, is what.) How about a hurricane that cancels the first day of kindergarten?
Wait, it gets worse – a hard-to-pronounce storm called a derecho rips through the Mid-Atlantic in mid-July snapping 100yo trees in half like toothpicks, some of them crashing down on our neighbors’ houses. THAT was tough to explain to the little ones. “It’s OK, sweetie. Just go to sleep. No, a tree isn’t going to come crashing down on us in the middle of the night and kill us in our beds. Probably not, anyway.”
So here we are, on the eve of Hurricane Sandy, using up our perishable food, scouring the city for the last remaining bottled water and batteries, dreading the idea of school being canceled and even – gasp! – Halloween. Enough, Mother Nature. You win. You have proven your point. No matter how much we silly humans think we can control and predict and explain the world around us, we are not the puppet masters. We are not calling the shots.
But if we are stuck in the house with rambunctious children and no TV or Internet or microwave popcorn and all that Halloween candy we bought for the trick-or-treaters, we may start DOING shots.
Stay safe, everybody! Hopefully Sandy will be kind to us.