Thursday, September 8, 2011

It takes a flood...

I was at my desk writing a pass for a little boy to replace his rain-soaked pants when an email from our superintendent popped up on my screen.  Subject: Early Dismissal Today {due to flooding within the district}.  I can't lie and say that part of me wasn't a little excited...the kids had been cooped up inside for the past few days due to all the rain we have been getting, and indoor recess doesn't release near as much energy as climbing on the jungle gym...we were all itching to get back outside again!  I immediately thought of all the things we could do when we got home early.  Cooking, baking, snuggling, catching up on laundry, tuning in to the storm team on tv.   It took all of about 4.7 seconds for all these thoughts to run through my brain...then another 2.9 seconds to realize that leaving early and possibly having days off school meant revamping lesson plans and changing calendars - the part of my brain that color codes and organizes went into survival mode.  I gave the boy his pass and went back to reading {of all stories} The Little Blue Engine That Could.  Our lunch schedule was pushed up, but other than that, we went about our morning as normal as we possibly could - many of us eating yogurt, cheese, and crackers instead of the mac & cheese that was originally on the menu.  When the dismissal bell rang, lots of students were called to the car-rider exit instead of being dismissed to their buses because of their parents' concern for their safety.  We learned that some of our their homes were being evacuated and that they couldn't return home.  I felt so bad for those families, yet all I could think about was Daniel's safety as he would be on his bus on roads that were reportedly getting worse by the minute, wishing I could be one of those concerned parents picking my kid up at school.  That's an aspect of teaching of which I am not a fan - I care for my students, but I love my own kids & family comes first...I often feel guilty taking care of someone else's kids when I need to be with my own!  Dan was at work in Maryland, so there was nothing he could do other than listen to me nag at him to come home ASAP {which he did & for that I am so thankful}.  I thought I'd be rushing out the door {after all the students were called to their respective buses} to pick my kids up at the babysitter and heading home to do all that stuff on my get home early list.  Well, I  thought wrong. We got word that the buses couldn't make it to all the homes and that they would be coming back to the school.  I got texts from the babysitter saying Daniel's bus couldn't find a safe route, so they were possibly headed back to the school, and if so, she would go to pick him up there.  My heart sank.  I wasn't sure I wanted someone else transporting my child in a flood, but if it meant getting him to our neighborhood with his brother in case I couldn't make it home, then I was all for it.  About a half hour later, I got word that he made it safe & sound...I was thrilled!  I just wanted to make my way to both of them, but we had to wait.  I probably should have felt guilty when we got the green light to go home if we so chose {others were opting to stay at school to wait for the buses who might not make it home}, but I needed to get home.  Finding a passable route wasn't easy, but I relied on the GPS to take me anywhere.  I only needed to turn around one time {a creek was completely flooded across the road} and it only took me about 15 minutes longer than usual.  Some of the roads I traveled were quickly rising, and I'm guessing if I would have waited much longer, finding a route wouldn't have been so easy.  I picked the kids up and when we came in the house, I just sat.  I didn't cook, bake, or do laundry.   I asked Daniel if he was scared.  His reply: "Not really, Mom...I just prayed three times, and knew we would be okay."   I thanked God that we were safe above flood levels and that we had a place to come home to - when I know in my heart that others aren't so fortunate.  Three lives have been lost so far, basements are flooded, roads are washed out, bridges are crumbling, and many are without power and/or drinkable water.  Fixing my lesson plans and updating calendars just seems so silly.  I am not in control...I need to pray three times {or thirty} and know we are going to be okay.  Too bad it took a flood for me to get that figured out.  
And as we argued over who had the tv remote last {we had searched between every couch cushion and under the coffee table}...I had to stop and remind all of us that there are soooooo many bigger problems.  The remote turned up, and we went to bed, thankful for all that we have.   
I'll leave you with some pictures of the creek, road, and a little park down over the bank right behind our house...Please pray for those who have lost loved ones or whose basements or whole homes have been flooded.


I'm pretty sure their basement is probably flooded.
Daniel is so into weather...this is right up his alley!
He's in his element.

This is a little park that normally has some tables, chairs, tire swings, etc...everything has been washed away :(

one upside - I can finally wear my rain boots.

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