It was already a turbulent night. Kicked off around 10:40pm. “Are there enough leftovers for dinner tomorrow?” I ask. “I threw the couscous out, there isn’t any meat, unless you stuck it back in the oven?” I had, I throw the covers off and storm down stairs, pissed. “You cant just throw food away, I have a plan, you know?” “What are you really mad about.” ” Why do you even pretend to do the dishes, you half ass it every night either finish it or don’t do it at all.” He’d washed three other things by hand but left one pot in the sink and ran the dishwasher. That’s all it took, one dang pot and I was off. Before you know it we are having the sitcom fight, you don’t have any idea what I do around here, yeah well I work hard so you can stay home with the baby, I work hard too damn-it! I’m just exhausted and I want my own money, I want to shop and buy things we don’t “need” and not have to answer for it, stupid stuff like $200 jeans and a new bag even thought they are stupid things to spend money on, I miss that freedom and what it feels like to have new things. And on and on we went and before you know it were yelling and no one wins.
It is hard, one always busy keeping the house and the family, the other trying to find balance with work and home life and no matter the effort work takes over anyway. We weren’t getting anywhere, and really the fight was a waste. We are the most polite married couple ever, we thank each other for everything all the time, say excuse me when we pass in the hall, we respect each other tremendously. But one unwashed pot was all it took and the Storm began.
We ran out of seam about half way through Will and Grace so sometime about 11:45, we’d apologized and agreed to let it go, our feet found each other and all was right with the world. Then the real storm began.
We heard intense rumbling from a distance, it was far away but close enough that you could feel it. A few minutes pass and you could see the lightening fill the room even with your eyes closed. Then, the sirens. Sirens, before it was even windy or raining. We moved like we’d never moved for a siren before. This felt different, this felt real. The lightening strikes were so close it was like daytime, barely a break between them. I flew out of bed, found my glasses, Mike turned on the TV and I yelled at him “There is no time to watch!!!” and hastily ran across the hall to scoop up my sleeping baby, told Mike to get the dog and we made our way to the basement in the dark trying desperately to stay calm and not freak Nathan out.
We turned on the TV to learn what we already knew, rotation all around us. You could see it on the radar, you could feel the house in the wind, even in the basement. We watched as the screen flickered and the radar came in and out as the station was hit by lightening. I held Nathan tighter than I ever have before, rocking back and forth whispering love you baby boy, over and over with tears streaming down my face. I was terrified. Every time the siren would start again he’d squeeze my finger, he never cried he just watched the TV wide eyed and silent. I realized I wasn’t wearing my wedding ring, would it ever be found, or shoes, I need shoes, and just a tank top and shorts would this be “the clothes on my back” I had no diapers no dog food, I wondered how long I could continue to produce milk after dehydration. This all seem so lame just a few hours later but it was truly that real. The electricity you heard, the hail, the wind, all so real. We lay in the dark watching the news, the warning was to expire at 12:30am which it did. We moved back upstairs and put Nathan back to bed and got down ourselves and within minutes the storm intensified and the sirens rang again. This time we stayed put, the news said that a new warning had not been issued but the storms are going to keep regenerating. They continued sounding at 5 minute intervals, I kept the TV on to be sure we didn’t need to move again. Things settled down about 1:15 and as much adrenaline as I was feeling I still found sleep. Another strong system woke us at 2.
The cat wanted to eat at 5:22, the same time his belly goes off everyday and his meowing woke Nathan to nurse, just as any other day. While I was feeding the baby I heard birds chirping and the sun was just starting to come up. It was just like any other morning. The neighborhood clean and wet from the soaking rain, the blue sky, beautiful. I immediately counted my blessings, my life, my family, the sunshine. The next time I want get get all worked up about one stupid pot, I think I will take a step back and get over it.