Why do I feel the need to blog less than 5 hours after a tornado blew through my house? I don't know. The sirens were going off when I picked up Claire from school, the kids were in the tiny bathroom with the teachers but I decided to go home anyway, living just 1 mile from her daycare.
We went to the basement almost immediately, and I honestly thought it was no big deal. We hung out on the couch right in front of the three windows of our walk-out basement. Claire, who just turned 2 last week, found her bouncy seat which had been retired to the basement, and was laying in it, strapped in. She was just chilling.
All of a sudden, it started blowing something freakish. This is the moment of divinity in which I immediately picked her up in the bouncy seat and ran to the corner of the basement. Granted, in hindsight, I should have moved to another section of the basement, but about 5-10 seconds after we got there, the windows just exploded in and the tornado was passing over my house. I briefly looked over to the window, saw the windows exploding in to the house, saw the scene of Wizard of Oz right before my very fucking eyes. Just gusts and gusts of brown and yellow light and wind and ugliness and neighbors play structures and my deck and god knows what else blowing by those windows. Kind of wish I didn't have a walk-out basement but glad as hell that I had a basement to begin with, and that I was down there.
Just two years ago, right after Claire was born, we got a TON of tornado sirens. Being a new mom, I insisted we all head down there, but on the 3rd or 4th 'false alarm' in a couple of weeks, we started to get jaded by the sirens. I am so, so thankful that I wasn't jaded enough to not be in the basement. I am so, so thankful for the divine message to move to the corner that very second.
I keep playing the What If game and I know it's not healthy. "What if I would have stayed at daycare in that tiny bathroom?" "What if I wouldn't have been in the basement?" "What if I hadn't moved from right in front of the window when I did?" I can't keep doing that. I didn't stay at daycare. I did go to the basement. I did move to the corner. We escaped without a scratch. My dog is OK. My daughter couldn't have been better. I don't think she saw much, I threw my body over her and I think she was just nervous that I was so scared and crying.
My house? Who knows. Here are some pictures. I was escorted out by firefighters who told me not to go back in the house because it was creaky and they said it was unsafe to be in there. It appears it's not supported on one side where the side of the garage was torn off. That's what insurance is for. All I care about at the moment is that I got to sing ABCs and Jingle Bells and Rock-a-Bye-Baby to my 2 year old while in my parent's car en route to their house. I'm glad that I got to distract her from my distress by showing her the cool firetrucks and by letting her drink Gatorade and hugging her and holding her hand as she fell asleep and that we are 100% healthy. How am I so lucky? To whom do I owe my life - literally - my life. And my daughter's life? And my 14 week old fetus-baby's life? My husband was out of town, on his way up to what was supposed to be a fun weekend of college football watching and beer drinking. Is it funny that while I was sitting in the basement of my torn up house, terrified to move until the hail stopped and until the firefighters broke down my front door (because I wasn't answering the door - uhhh, no, I was crouched in the corner of the basement still, over 2 hours after the tornado hit. I wasn't moving until the firefighter escorted me.) Anyway, while I was sitting there, thanking Grandpa Ron and Grandma Betty (two of my grandparents who passed away in January and February respectively) for helping to save my life, I felt bad for my husband that he had to come home from his fun weekend. Silly! Of course he's on his way back, but I was like "Awww MAN. Nick was really really looking forward to that."