Tweet Me!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Second Job?

We all know that Aidan wants to be a storm chaser when he grows up. This has been his dream job for the last 2 years at least. He keeps up with the weather, and wants to go out driving every time he hears thunder. I'm cool with this - it's dangerous but a good goal to have and he gets to have lots of education and interesting experiences and a chance to make a difference. He hasn't changed his mind since the tornado outbreak on April 27th - if anything he wants to even more.

The other day though, Aidan told me he wanted to be... wait for it.... a lunch lady when he grows up. What?! Yeah he said he wants to serve food in the cafeteria at school. I told him I thought he wanted to be a storm chaser and he said, "Yeah - I'm going to have 2 jobs." Then later, "Spiderman has two jobs..."

Wow. Okay, whatever works for him I guess.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

April 27th, 2011

For those of us in Alabama, April 27th was a day we will never ever forget.

I woke up to the sound of tornado sirens around 4am and didn't go back to sleep. Aidan went into school late because of tornadoes in the morning, and then was released from school early. Around 11:30am, Ms. Annie from the autism unit called me and asked if I wanted to go ahead and come get Aidan because it was hectic at school and he was very overstimulated. I told her that I would rather wait, and it's a good thing I did. Less than 5 minutes later I was camped out in the hall as an EF-1 tornado passed over us. I finally went to get Aidan around 12:15, about 20 minutes before we were once again hit with a tornado warning. When I got there, power was out at school, it was pouring rain and lightning like crazy so I shoved Aidan in the car and we headed home.  We'd already had hail once in the day and I didn't really want to be caught in it, so it was good that we got home when we did.

We spent most of the afternoon in and out of the hallway. Aidan was hyper, excited and probably a little confused by all the tornado warnings. I'm sure he could sense my anxiety over the outbreak of severe weather. The meteorologists had been warning us all week of the weather we would face on the 27th - there wasn't just the possibility of tornadoes, but it was very probable that we would have several strong, long tracking tornadoes.

Around 4pm I called Aidan's daddy and told him to come home right away. A huge tornado had just ripped through a town an hour or two to our southeast and was barreling our direction so I wanted him to make it home before the tornado hit. Tanner, a town where a friend of mine grew up, and only a few miles down the road from my college got slammed into by the large tornado. Jeremy got home and we looked at the sky outside which was the most eerie shade of pea-green before hurrying into the hall in the center of the house with blankets and pillows and puppies. As the tornado passed, we had no idea that just a mile away houses were being torn into pieces and high tension power lines (the big metal ones) were being crumpled like they were made of aluminum foil. Aidan was visibly frightened as we listened to the TV turned up loud and telling us how serious the situation was. 

We had to run errands Thursday, the day after the storms, which was gorgeous. We had to pass through affected areas in order to get to a store that had power so we could purchase the things we needed (we miraculously never lost power at our home and became a place for those without power to take hot showers and eat hot meals and do laundry and charge their electronic devices). I was stunned to see the wreckage and just how close it was to my home. Even now, I have a hard time wrapping my head around just how blessed we really are, and when I think of my friend who lost his father and step-mother, I wonder what I would have done had I lost my parents or worse Aidan? What would have happened if I had lost my life protecting Aidan from the tornado as Roger's parents lost their lives protecting their grandchildren?

I showed Aidan pictures of the wreckage after we came home from running errands, and he kept exclaiming how "cool" it was. I knew this wouldn't do so we ended up taking him to see in person just how bad things were. Although he's only seven, I felt that since he wants to be a storm chaser, he needs to understand just how serious a tornado is. We explained that these people lost EVERYTHING, and that some of them died or were hurt very badly. Aidan got very quiet and seems now to really understand. I think he still wants to be a storm chaser.

We are very blessed to have survived this ordeal and our hearts and prayers are with those who lost everything.  I encourage you to donate to the recovery efforts - here is a link to the Salvation Army's donation website where you can specify that you want your donation to go to the Limestone and Madison County communities affected by the April 27th tornado outbreak.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.