In the past week we've had an earthquake AND a hurricane. I don't know about you, but that's a little too hopping for me! This is the second earthquake we've had in a year or so, though this one was more what I always imagined (and feared) a quake to be. We get hurricanes and tropical storms from time to time, so it's not unheard of, but it was a bit nerve wracking to say the least, especially within mere days of each other.
The earthquake flat out terrified Alexis. Jamison was working away at his desk, I was working out and she was doing her own little thing upstairs by herself. I felt the hairs on the back of my arm stand up and I was confused because I couldn't figure out why exactly that was happening. As I was studying my arm I felt/heard a small rumbling and thought Alexis was jumping around upstairs so I sent Jamison up to check on her since he was closer. I decided to go examine the issue too and was halfway across the floor when the house started to shake in earnest. We're talking full out walls moving, floor bouncing, light fixtures swaying, pictures moving around on the wall quake here. Surprisingly I wasn't scared. The last one freaked me out, but this one I was calm. I was however worried about Alexis because I knew this wasn't going to be her cup of tea. I called to Jamison and told him to keep going to get to Alexis and he did.
After our little quake it took about an hour or so to calm Alexis down...She was that scared. She is still a little twitchy about the whole thing. She asks me several times a day if I can feel the floor moving or the ground shaking because she's afraid it's going to happen again. I keep assuring her she's fine, and while I can't promise her that we won't have another earthquake, she needs to stop worrying about it so much because I'll take care of her. She gives me one of those looks that clearly indicates she thinks I'm nuts, but she settles down and goes on about her day.
In Lex's mind earthquake equals unmitigated horror. Bring on a hurricane/tropical storm however and after a little explanation of what is happening and how it works the kid kicks in to all out explore mode!
At first she was uneasy about the storm especially when I started moving things in to the garage from the patio so they wouldn't blow around. I quipped on Twitter that I wouldn't resent battening down the hatches as much if I had an ocean view to go along with the trouble, but Alexis wasn't quite sure why I was moving all of the things. I kept telling her we were far enough inland that we would get a lot of wind and rain, but the big stuff would happen on the coast, but that we still needed to be prepared just in case.
On Saturday she wasn't too sure about this, equating hurricanes with tornadoes, especially as the wind picked up. She thought we were going to have to sit in the basement all day Saturday in to early Sunday morning. She kept fretting, something that Alexis is exceptionally good at much like her father, but finally she calmed. Saturday afternoon, after reassuring her quite a bit, Jamison finally showed her a weather map and explained how the storm worked. Once he was finished with that I took her outside and showed her how the clouds were swirling. From that point on she was hooked!
As you can see in the picture above she's a happy little "weather girl" with her head covered from the sprinkles. She decided to stay on the patio for a while and I was ok with that. All we had was a lot of wind at that point so I let her be and explore.
She ran around on the patio testing the wind speed and direction for about an hour. I finally had to make her come in and put on rain boots when it started raining and then she headed back out with her wellies, sweater and umbrella and kept up her little exploration.
We never had any thunder or lightening, just wind and rain. When it got dark I made her come in for good. She was disappointed that the storm passed during the night. By the time she got up on Sunday morning we had a few sprinkles and light wind. The worst of Irene had passed on up the coast to wreak her havoc there. Luckily we were spared any damage despite the wind being a little fierce here and there.
I love that Alexis looks at all this stuff as a learning opportunity and it amuses me that she seems as drawn to the ocean, its power and all things aquatic just as I am. I've sat through Isabel back in 2003 when we lived closer to the Chesapeake Bay and that was enough for me, but the experience is there. Alexis doesn't remember that storm, or the tropical storm that blew through a few years ago either, but I have a feeling she'll remember Irene for a while and if not I'll be happy to share the the pictures with her and tell her about her windy/rainy adventures when she gets older.
She is so my child.