Thankfully Irene wasn’t as bad as predicted. At least not in our ‘hood. From our windows, she looked suspiciously like a mild rainstorm, although I’m told the worst of it came through while we were asleep. But of course we didn’t know that until after the fact. And so we spent quite a bit of time looking out the windows, trying to figure out where the hurricane was. Having never experienced one before, my expectations were that there would be enormous amounts of rain, winds that would blow down trees, and a trail of destruction that would leave us with nothing to do but sit on the couch and twiddle our thumbs until a dove knocked on our door with an olive branch in it’s beak. Or something. Or, more simply put, that we’d be stuck inside for an indeterminate amount of time. And the thought filled me with dread.
Part of it was that we live in a fairly small apartment. And there are two little boys here who have very little respect for personal space. Specifically, my personal space. Micah will confirm that the prospect of not having the option to take the boys somewhere they could run around (and where I was a less attractive jungle gym) made me a little antsy. As much as I love having little boys step and climb and pull on me all day long . . . oh, wait, no I don’t.
And part of it was just that I like to go outside. I need the fresh air — no matter how hot or cold or dry or wet it is. I like to feel the sun and the rain and the snow for myself. It does me good to see outside of my nest. I need to acknowledge the big wide world on a regular basis, and to remember that I am a part of it, if only a tiny part.
I never imagined myself as the restless type who would vote to take a hike over a day spent lazing on the couch, but it turns out that maybe I am. I know for sure that when I was a kid, I was definitely on the “lazing on the couch” side of the fence but somewhere in my adolescence the tides began to turn and I’d opt out of movies at least every now and then, even choosing to run around the neighborhood with other teenagers, doing whatever it is that teenagers do.
This is comforting to me these days because the elder of my little menchildren seems to be taking after the me that I was a couple of decades ago. He’s somewhat of a homebody who rarely wants to go anywhere and prefers to watch movies/dvds/youtube videos as much as he can. We are often at cross-purposes and we wear each other down with our respective needs.
“I want to watch a movie!”
“But I want to go outside!”
“But I want to watch a movie!”
“But I want to go outside!”
We sound like a couple of 4-year-olds, I’m sure. I guess that’s true for half of us . . . .
However, the story has a happy ending. The hurricane was relatively kind. We stepped outside of our building for a few minutes yesterday afternoon (just as more rain started to fall). The day was not wasted in thumb-twiddling. The city still stands. And there are blue skies and dry sidewalks to be enjoyed all day long. We don’t have to spend the rest of the day watching the world through our windows — or our computer screens. But we could if we wanted to. Which only half of us do.