I should’ve seen it coming.

Falling down the stairs at 4.2 weeks pregnant with my last child meant exactly one thing: every time I tried to get treatment for it, the doctors ran out of the room, shaking a bottle of Tylenol in my general direction, because OMFG the PREGNANT LADY we can’t TREAT the PREGNANT LADY – THINK OF THE LAWSUITS IF SOMETHING GOES WRONG WITH THE BAY-BEE!

(the ironic thing is that there was STILL something wrong with the fetus that had been written in her genetic soup well before I hurt my foot).

By the time I was able to get treatment for my foot, it was well past the “we can do shit about it,” and “WTF were your MD’s thinking?” which means precisely one (okay, two) things: I can, upon occasion, pull Das Boot from the closet and tromp around in it when it’s particularly narfy, and I can generally tell you when the atmospheric pressure is changing.

(in my best yokel accent) I gots a trick foot, y’all!

So that’s why I say I should’ve seen it coming.

I didn’t.

Which is why I hadn’t bothered taking any precautions. One minute, I was cuddling up my sweet daughter who’d been tearfully showing me her blister – which had popped – and the next minute, the room was practically pitch black. We’d not bothered to turn on any lights, because, well, it was 11AM and summer in Chicago, which meant it was balls hot with a side of armpit-level humidity.

“Mama,” she asked, her arms woven upward and snake-like, entangled with my own, “why’s it nighttime?”

“Storms a-coming, Baby Girl,” I told her as I kissed her curls. She nestled into me like a baby for a moment, her sleep-filled eyes betraying her as she tried desperately to stay awake.

The wind began to howl, as I moved into the kitchen to light some candles, should the power go out. I could hear my eldest screaming his frustration at me into his pillow – I had put my foot down to him going out in the storm; it was too dangerous. He seemed to think, which he often does these days, that I was full of the bullshit.

I paused a moment at the back doors, staring outside at the wind whipping past, the sky full of bits of trees that had been caught up in the strong winds. I looked down and happily realized that I’d managed to put my sparkly red Uggs – at least I’d wind up in Kansas (or was it NOT Kansas? I can never be sure) should the winds opt to take my home. The streets filled with water as I heard a distinct thunk as one of the trees went down nearby.

Shit, I thought, that Ass Tree with it’s Ass Boner is going to come down on top of the house. God, I hope I look glamorous at my funeral. Shit – I forgot to write down my weird funeral demands and have them notarized – I hope my Pranksters will tell anyone who brings baby’s breath to my funeral to fuck off – I’m so not into filler flowers.

As abruptly as it began, the storm blew right on by us, on to torture our neighbors in the east – perhaps THEY’D wind up in Kansas; it became clear that we were going to be staying right here.

The sun, shining blithely through the trees as though our world hadn’t just been rocked, and made the puddles on the side of the road shimmer and sparkle; shining like diamonds, I noted happily, as I walked outside. My neighbors emerged from their houses one by one, each of us standing at the sidewalk, looking back at our homes, inspecting them for damage. Carefully, slowly, I heard the sound of a lone chainsaw come to life, as we began to rebuild our lives, branch by ever-loving branch.

Like we always do.

Because we must.

We must.

14 thoughts on “Falling Down

  1. I can’t believe the big bad storms we have had here in Chicago. We have been lucky that those big bad winds have not blown our “brick” house down. **KNOCK ON WOOD**
    Glad you guys didn’t have any damage!

  2. My oldest is in the My mom’s full of shit stage too. I love him so much that sometimes I want trip him next to a flight of stairs(in my head of course)!

  3. When my mom was six months pregnant with twins, she caught pinkeye. A walk-in clinic doctor was loading her down with prescriptions. Then he asked her if she had any drug allergies. She said no, but that she was six months pregnant. She miraculously no longer needed any of the medications that had been prescribed. The doctor more or less ripped them out of her hands. She [stupidly; how competent is any doctor who can’t tell a woman six months pregnant with twins is expecting?] went back to that clinic about two years later. The clinic had no record of her even having been treated there. they destroyed the evidence.

  4. Very well written. As a 4/27/11 Alabama tornado surviver I SO get this. Wish i had me some uggs like that. Glad you are all well ( as you can be, considering)

  5. Yeah we don’t have any fancy storms in my town. In fact we don’t get anything at all and when we do it’s a panick fest of epic proportions where people talk about what happened for years telling each other “I can’t believe how scared I was” when really, it was nothing and people eslewhere get this shit all the time and worst. The only thing I remember having in the last 10 years is that magnitude 5.1 earthquake (I was on the 19th floor of my office). By the time we realised what that shaking was it was over and made our way down the buidling just for good measure. In fact the only thing we get here is shit winter storms like the 1998 ice storm that left the whole city under about 5 feet of ice. So koodos for the people who have to deal with mean mother nature all the time.

  6. I’m astounded at the amount of damage Mother Nature can wreak in such a short amount of time. As much as I love storms, I also recognize that our typical thunderstorms wouldn’t even be considered “storms” elsewhere. I’m thankful, and lucky.

  7. I can usually tell when its going to rain too because my legs start to hurt. I’m like an old lady or a magician or something. I prefer magician.

    In Chicago for the week. Serious sweat dripping down my non existent balls. Why does sweat drip down my balls sound so much classier than sweat drip down my labia? These are life’s great mysteries.

    1. Good question! Im the lone guy in the lunch group at the office so when we get out of the car I always complain that my titties are sweating

  8. My brother and his wife are in Lombard and are still waiting for the power to get restored. Glad everybody is ok and no damage!

  9. I now totally NEED red sparkly Uggs. You make them sound so amazing. And I hate those kind of storms they terrify me. And my oldest daughter goes bat shit crazy when a storm comes, she hates all the loud noise. Glad you are all Okay.

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