You spent most of the weekend trying to herd your children away from Lee. Last week, your daughter called from further north to give you a heads-up that although a big, fat depression would be sitting on top of the gulf all weekend, she’d be fine with reading, shopping and going to movies. Perfect—you had two books to finish.
You drove down to the beach early to set up shop. Along the way, you picked up a huge container of your fam’s favorite chicken salad, and produce at your favorite roadside stand. You spent the evening ‘fluffing up’ the house to get it ready, arranging shells, candles, flowers and books. The following morning you bought boatloads of groceries and then you got on your iPad. Instead of a sun/thunderbolt icon, the Weather Channel app showed a mean, scary storm cartoon for the entire weekend, and the storm warning now ranged to the neighboring beach–your rainy day ‘go to’ venue. Your crystal ball held images of being stuck in the house for days with the wind howling. This beach is isolated, and the evacuation route involved driving several hours in the middle of nowhere through floody areas, in order to get to the highway.
Hmmmm. You look into re-routing the rest of the family in order to salvage the holiday. This appeared to create some discord. Your family did not think Lee was such a horrible dude. Your daughter was very kind and said, “Mom, I know you have a strong maternal instinct which is something I don’t have yet.” Which was a sweet way of saying, “Mom, you’re ruining my beach vacation because you believe everything the Weather Channel says.”
You started to get defensive–is it your fault there’s a storm?–and feeling like a huge ol’ depression # 13. Then you thought about your friend Jane. When she visited Seattle with her family, she attempted to navigate using a ‘real map’ instead of relying on her son’s gps in order to find a cool new restaurant. Well, how dare she do such a thing; they got stuck in a big, fat traffic jam and all turned on her, their collective blood sugar plummeting.
“Why are we always blamed for everything? Traffic, weather and whatnot,” she laughed.
Your family finally agreed (the thought of a power-less and wi-fi-less house did the trick) You ate all of the chicken salad, packed up the house and re-loaded the car (much to the bewilderment of the dog) while your sweet husband spent hours re-routing the children. You spent the holiday back at home, sans sun-bathing.
Yesterday, when your son decided to drive back to school through tornado alley without your consent, you lost it. How dare he make his own decisions and up and turn into a man before your very eyes. Couldn’t he wait and drive back early the next day? But Lee had caught up with us; the following morning looked rushed and rainy. So you spent the remainder of the holiday tag-team worrying. First, enlarging weather maps on your desktop to locate red blobs and tornado sightings, while the tornado siren sounded in your neighborhood. Once he arrived safely, you gave a huge sigh, and then began wringing your hands over your daughter’s flight home, and enlarging the map on your phone to see where the pilot could possibly find an open window in the weather. Then you got exhausted. Let the pilot deal with it. High time to muster up some faith. You just finished Elizabeth Berg’s novel in which one of her Mom characters learns how to ‘stop trying to control’ everything. So you said some prayers and went to bed.
Getting home safe and sound, priceless.