I'm not sure if it was the leftover emotions from the thought, "Who died?" (because, honestly, when your pastor jogs onto the platform during the middle of the Good Friday service and begins whispering in the music minister's ear, cuing an end to the orchestral opening to the next number, before turning to face the audience with a grim look, it's difficult to think of any other source for such concern), but I've never cried about a tornado warning before. It is true, however, tornadoes happen to be one of my biggest fears (this is where I take a brief detour to counter the theory, widely held by Oklahomans, that we, as those used to such storms, are typically fearless when threatened by raging funnel clouds [and the delusion that such lack of respect for the storm somehow makes "us" cool]; I am of the firm belief that we, having witnessed the destruction possible by such meteorological phenomena either first-hand or by proxy, should actually be more acutely aware of the danger invoked, but maybe that's just my overly keen sense of logic coming into play).
When I was younger, residing in Nebraska, just a little further north up tornado alley, I may not have enjoyed the idea of my dad watching out the front window rather than joining the rest of us in the basement, but I did, overall, think tornado warnings were kind of exciting. It was an excuse for the whole family (except dad, of course) to gather downstairs, pull out some board games and ride out the storm. A nice break from the monotony of day-to-day (you know, the rat race rut of a fourth-grader).
Since becoming a resident of Oklahoma and, more importantly, a mother, however, my views have changed a little. One reason being that we no longer have a spacious basement decked out with Life, Scrabble or Yahtzee, but rather a crowded storm cellar with no circulation and little illumination, other than the candles we light, which does little to abed the over-heating issue. The other being that the threat seems a little more real down here. Besides, I have a lot more to lose. And I'm not talking about the house.
Therefore, tonight, as the congregation was instructed to head calmly downstairs, to one of the safest locations in town, I had one thought on my mind. I just needed to hold my babies. Thus, I'm not sure it was the storm itself which triggered the spontaneous leaking of my tear ducts, but, rather, the thought that somewhere in that building, where a tornado may hit any second (no, I'm never melo-dramatic, why would you even think that?), were my precious little ones, confused and possibly scared. There was nothing I wanted more than to hold them in my arms.
Of course, while the younger did seem a bit bewildered and grateful to see his mama, Micaiah wasn't much for the being held in a parent's arms. After all, she was in a room with a toy kitchen. What else could she need?
Oklahoma born and bred, I suppose.