I began my “normal” shower routine, wash hair and leave conditioner in while while I shaved and bathed. I was all relaxed and comfortable. The steam was arising and so was my opera voice that I only get to use in the shower. "SUMMMMMERRRRTIIIIIIIMMMMMEE, and the livin' is easy!!!!" I had lathered, rinsed, and repeated ("as needed" - I loved Friends! I miss that show!) and was beginning to let the peppermint conditioner do it's thing to my hair. I smeared on the shaving cream getting ready to tackle the legs and 'pits when I felt the house shudder.
My first mental picture was of the kids out of bed, in the den, having a big ole pillow fight party while mommy was in the shower. I paused a minute to listen for anymore sounds of rowdiness
and disobedience only to be met with the sounds of the water falling in the shower. Satisfied I was a good mommy and that my kids would NEVER sneak out of bed, I continued my mini-spa treatment. "Fish are jumppppppiiiiiiin' and my kids are just FIIIIIIIIIIIIINE. OOOOH, my Daddy ain't rich, but cha' know I'mm good-looooooookin', so...." CRASH!!!!! There is was again!!! BOOOM!! Oh, no they didn't!!!!!! NOBODY slams a door in this house and gets away with it! OOOHHH, I'm getting angry!! They won't like me when I get ANGRY!!!!! (This was, of course, before I read the book "Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours".) Yet again, the house shook for the second time. BOOOOOOOMMMM!
I tried to continue to shave but,again , I felt the house rumble. I felt my blood pressure rising and began to to plan my coarse of action. WHO was up and just WHAT do they think they are doing???? Who would receive the first one-handed applause session??? Again, the house trembled. By this point, my shower “experience” was ruined and I turned off the water not realizing that I would not turn it back on for the next two hours.
I was going to catch those little boogers out of bed and then in all my “Mommy” insight and wisdom enforce a lecture that would impress even Dr. Dobson. We would discuss the finer points of obedience and how when Mommy puts us to bed we STAY in bed!!!! Then we would have a thorough lesson on how to properly shut a door without causing a shift in the New Madrid Fault. (Mommy suggestion of the day - If our kids ever slam a door, we make them open and close the door properly 200 times to re-enforce the appropriate way to use doors. It must latch completely and it must not be slammed or they have to start all over again. Works like a charm! We don't have that problem anymore.)
It was as I stepped out of the shower and into my towel, shaving cream and conditioner still applied, that I realized my children that I thought were having a hoedown in the den, were still in bed. The quaking of the house was actually from the thunder of a greenish-black, ginormous (my son’s word) storm that had overtaken the beautiful, blue sky that was there before I escaped to my shower oasis. I immediately panicked remembering my poor doggies were outside getting ready to be blown away by the storm that made 3:30 in the afternoon look like midnight.
I quickly raced to the back door in my towel, shaving cream and conditioner leaving a trail behind me, to rescue my puppies from the brewing storm. I breathed a sigh of relief and offered a quick thank you to God for holding back the rain as they ran inside to safety. In almost the same second, the torrential pour down began. After settling my nervous little pooches down, I looked outside again and noticed the weather was worsening, and the thunder and lighting had decided to take up residency in my backyard.
Daylor, 6 at the time and Duglin, 4 , were, and still to this day, are absolutely terrified of any kind of weather that is, could become, or sorta, might be a kinda possibility of severe weather. I began counting the seconds from when the lightning struck, not to determine when the thunder would roll, but to figure out how long it would take before my sweet boys would appear from their room, wide-eyed and looking for comfort from their mommy.
I switched on the TV when the hail began to fall thinking there would be break-ins from the local news. I don’t know about where you live but, if there is any kind of "abnormal" weather patterns, such as say rain or breeze or sunshine we have a “breaking news weather report." And they always break in a the most crucial moments of a show like right when the Bachelor is about to pick his new fiancee'. GRRRRR!
Anyway, back to my point, there was no newsflash about any storm so apparently ours was the only house in Tennessee that was about to be blown away. Despite the fact that the 4 year old oak tree in my front yard quite literally was playing "limbo" and was bending parallel to the ground, there were no major warnings other than this one. And I quote, “By the way, we have reports of rain in Bartlett.” So, I guess my point is, it was raining and lightening and thundering. There was hail and gusty winds. It was a strong storm.
I typically don’t freak out at storms. I find them fascinating. (I'll have to share my tornado story with you sometime. Another blog and other day...) It’s one of those traits I inherited up from my mom. She would always say casually go about her business cooking or reading as my dad would run through the house to bathtub (with a mattress in tow) yelling at my brother and I to, "GET DOWN!!!!" She'd say, “There is no reason to panic. It is a waste of good energy." In the meantime, the roof would be coming off piece by piece and despite the fact that the neighbor's cat just flew by the window. Ahhh, good times...
On this day however, the storm was different and made me a teensy bit edgy considering I could not see my neighbors across the street because it was pouring so hard. I just knew my kids were going to come screaming out of their rooms, especially when the hail got to be about quarter size and sounded like elephants doing the quick step across my roof. I waited and I waited, but there was not one peep from their room, despite the close proximity of the lightening and the ground shaking thunder afterwards. I peeked in on my 2 year old daughter who has no fear of storms at the time and she was fast asleep. I decided after the lights started flickering to look in on my boys. I cracked open the door and my oldest sat up. It was then I saw his tear-stained cheeks.
I quietly tiptoed across the room to the boy’s bunk bed and saw Duglin fast asleep next to his brother on the top bunk, his little hand wrapped around his guardian brother’s. I felt such compassion for my eldest and asked him why he hadn't gotten up to come get me. His response broke my heart. “Mommy, I'm scared, but I knew Dugin would be even more scared than me if he woke up and hearwd the funderstorm. If I tried to come get you he might wake up and cry, but if he stays asweep he won’t be afwaid.” (OK, just rip the heart out of my chest and stomp on it, won't ya?)
A precious boy at the age of six, humbled and convicted my heart. He didn't know anything about what sacrifice meant or probably how to say it , yet it was one of the greatest examples of self-sacrifice I'd seen, especially from a a child. I knew my son and knew the extreme fear he had to overcome for him to withstand the lightening, hail and thunder. But he did it. He lay there completely still for almost an hour and endured a ferocious storm that terrified him, in order to allow his little brother to sleep blissfully unaware of what was going on.
He could no longer hold his sobs back and broke down in relief that I was there with him. I gathered him up in my arms and silently asked a special blessing for my little one whose heart had matured far beyond his years. I picked up Duglin who had awoken at that point and carried them into the den. We sat by our den window and watched the remainder of the storm and marveled at the power of God’s nature and the awesomeness of His world.
After about 30 minutes, the sky began to clear and I tucked the kids back in bed for a few more minutes, needing the time to ponder the whole experience and also to rinse the conditioner that had now dried and left a gooey mess in my hair (not mention shave my other leg.). I was amazed how God used Daylor to show me an example of selflessness and giggled at the timing at which He chose to do it. More than that though, I got a glimpse of Jesus in my child today.
Even though the shaving cream that I left trailing behind me stained the carpet, I didn’t make it to a 4:30 appointment I had that day, and my hair, well , was now very, very, very conditioned (Did I mention I smelled like a candy cane for almost two weeks? Mmm, peppermint!), I would not have traded those two hours of “storm watching” for anything. Those sweet, unsuspecting times that the Father chooses to reveal Himself to me; it is for those moments I live.
Happy birthday, Daylor! You are a blessing!