Saturday, September 12, 2009

Stormy Weather

Last night the skies opened up and the thunder roared and the lightning flashed. It was all very dramatic and I felt like I was in one of the horror stories that I have been busy writing. But all through the storm I had the strangest feeling that something was missing. Then between claps of thunder it hit me. I was missing the patter of tiny feet running down the hallway and into our bedroom. In years, long ago and faraway, Kyle would have run into Will's room and told him he was scared and the two would make a fast dash to the safety of our bed. They would climb in bed between Tom and me and the four of us would enjoy the storm together.

Tonight, it seemed that just Tom and I were up. I jumped out of bed to check on the boys. Will was sound asleep. Kyle was snoring softly. I couldn't image how they could sleep through so much thunder, but they were deep asleep. An hour past and the rain started to fall even heavier. The thunder felt like it was very, very close. I closed my eyes and waited for my little boys to jump on my bed. They didn't. Gordon, our dog, began to whipper so I went to check on him. He was happy to see me. I snuck back into Will's room but he was still deep in his sweet dreams. Then I quietly tip-toed back into Kyle's room. "That was the loudest thunder I have ever heard, " he said sleepily. Finally he was awake. I was hopping he would say he was scared and wanted me to stay with him but instead he said, "Gordon's barking, he probably needs you." The underlying message was loud and clear. Kyle wanted to go back to sleep, it was only Gordon who needed me now.

When I finally got back to bed I asked Tom if he thought the dramatic events of the stormy night were a message from the victims of 9/11. They were shouting down to us to never forget. "Yes," Tom said thoughtfully, "Or, it could be the storm coming down from Canada.

I stayed up another hour and thought about 9/11. I remember the day so vividly. I think we all do. Kyle came home from school yesterday very upset that no one had mentioned the horrific events that changed his world forever. He had expected at least a moment of silence.

The morning it happened Kyle had just started 3rd grade and Will, Kindergarten. My instincts told me to keep them home and close. But Kyle had other intentions. He needed to be with his friends. I let him go to school that day, granted the school did back up to our old house, but it was a big step for me. I had no idea then how many more steps I would have to take in order to let him and Will develop into the independent men I want them to be.

I miss the patter of the small feet coming into my room. I am not sure I enjoyed it enough back then. But I know I will never forget it.


  1. I had to comment because Rich and I lay in bed awake (just two doors down from you :-)) listening to the storm, reminiscing about the sound of tiny feet, and wondering whether any feet would come our way. Reid (16) never appeared, and Kyra (14) was at a sleepover with her volleyball team where she slept through the whole event because they hadn't gone to bed until 2 am. Ultimately Marie did come--that is the difference between 11 and 16 years old. She was part scared, but I think more looking for someone to share in the excitement of this rare event. So the three of us lay in bed and talked about the storm and how scared she, Kyra and Reid used to be. Instead of cuddling a scared child, we shared lots of laughs and wonder about the world, and together comforted the dog when she whimpered. It was a different set of feet that came last night, but they were welcome.

  2. Thank goodness for wonderful eleven-year-olds! Especially Marie. It must have been wonderful to share the dramatic events of the early morning with her, nested in your bed.

    Things are changing but I look to you lead the way!

  3. If I had known that you were awake, I would have found a way into your bed and then you could have told me a ghost story that would have gone with all the thunder and lightening!