Well. We had quite the adventure tonight! Earlier in the day, I’d heard about the tornados likely to hit Oklahoma and Kansas. We watched the news and facebook as those storms hit, praying that all our Okie friends would be safe. A severe storm was predicted for our area between 7 and 9 pm, although as seven drew near, the radar was clear and I thought weather.com was being overzealous as usual. We put the kids to bed early, looking forward to a quiet evening. PJ and I took books outside and read on the patio, watching what seemed to be a far-off thunderstorm roll in. After awhile I headed inside to check on the kids. As I crawled into bed with my book, I decided to take a quick peek at the weather to see if we were expecting any rain from that beautiful storm.
Tornado Warning—Tarrant County (Oh. That would be us.)
Tornado spotted in Benbrook…expected to hit Edgecliff at 8:50 (Ok, not cool. That would be the teeny tiny incorporated town TWO BLOCKS FROM OUR HOUSE. And it’s 8:45. OMG.)
I ran outside to PJ, telling him that reading time was over NOW. We gathered the essentials—you know, all the things you plan to hold onto in addition to your kids as a tornado rips through your house. The med kit (maybe I should have let this blow away??). A cell phone and mismatched charger. My purse. I left our oh-so-useful CPS-mandated disaster kit behind (2 rubbermaid totes, 2 cases of water, 4 bags of cereal, and 10 bottles of Gatorade—it sounds more like the 12 Days of Christmas than a survival kit). I attempted to drag Luke, the dog, into the bathroom. He would have none of it. Fine. Die, stupid dog.
We planned to not grab the kids until the sirens sounded, clinging to a desperate hope that the tornados were not going to invade our space. Then they sounded.
I snatched baby from a peaceful sleep and made one last effort with the dog. Apparently he has a death wish. PJ brought the other two from upstairs, where they joined Baby and me in our way too small bathroom for a tornado “drill”. Boy was not fooled. At. All. Girl, in her blissful four year old-ness, read Curious George. Baby was her happy, giggly self, despite being rudely taken from her sleep in the dark closet. This mommy was *freaking out*, as I have spent way too much time on CNN and weather.com reading news of Joplin, and my only regularly recurring nightmare is one of tornados. PJ paced back and forth between the front door and the laptop with a live news feed. We stayed in the bathroom for 15 minutes before getting the all-clear.
We are so thankful that Jesus spared us from these storms. We continue to pray for all those affected this week, and I hope you will join us.
Oh. And I’m totally documenting this evening as one of our four annually required tornado “drills” that are vital to our fitness as parents of foster kids. Tonight was slightly more legit than our first drill, which consisted of “ok, so if there’s ever a tornado AND THERE ISN’T ONE RIGHT NOW go to the downstairs bathroom and you’ll be fine.”
I’m going to go back to obsessively watching the news, as a new storm has just developed. Because life isn’t exciting enough all ready! :-)