We got rain today in Austin. This isn’t news in most cities, but in Texas, we’ve been in a drought for two years. Rain is a big deal.
It also means people drive like crap and rush hour is worse than usual.
But today was particularly bad. Not only were we getting rain, the skies were foreboding that bad things were ahead. The break in rain from this morning and the sunshine this afternoon was a false sense that the meteorologists were wrong like they always are.
Thankfully, my bestie/coworker decided to leave early to avoid flooding. When you don’t get rain often, you don’t always have a lot of drainage and your city is susceptible to flood easily. Thank GOD I followed her lead and did the same. Thanks to an understanding boss, I packed up and headed for the hills. So were half the people in my building, if the line to get out of the garage was any indication. I told you Austin doesn’t know what to do with rain.
I picked up Allie and we walked to the truck in the drizzle and I packed her up and set up her with a movie. As soon as I was on the road, I knew traffic was bad. But maybe we’d get lucky and make it home before the storm hit.
I distracted her as the rain got so loud that I couldn’t hear DJ Lance talking to the Gabba gang.
I gave her the secret stash of Bugles that I have reserved for emergencies only.
I worried she’d be terrified.
But with the first big clap of thunder, she laughed. That girl is fearless. She amazes me constantly. I’m pretty sure I would sleep in my parents’ room during a thunderstorm till I was a teenager.
Then things got ugly and it wasn’t cute anymore. It wasn’t about keeping the fearless toddler from going nuts because she just wanted out of the truck on the ride home. It wasn’t about rushing home to make dinner and help with homework.
The hail started coming down and smashed the truck with little bits of ice. The visibility was pretty much limited to the car in front of me. We weren’t going to miss the storm. We were in the heat of it.
It was terrifying. All I could think was how to get us home safely without anyone hitting us, or the hail breaking the window and hurting her. There was nowhere to go. There was nowhere to pull over. I could barely hear anything on the phone–when I actually had signal.
Despite the instinctive reaction to freak out (especially given the way I’ve felt in the last few months), I focused on remaining calm. I checked on H. I checked on my husband. I needed us all home safely. I focused on the task at hand and put on silly faces to keep her from seeing my fear. I’m pretty damn proud of how well I did.
Eventually, nearly 2 HOURS after I picked her up, we made it to the safety of our driveway and daddy met us with an umbrella and a big hug. I rushed to check on Ava, knowing she hates thunder as much as I did.
There are some times when you get a good reminder that you are damn lucky for what you have.
I’m thankful for an understanding boss.
I’m thankful for a big truck to keep us safe if we ever get in an accident.
I’m thankful I wasn’t sitting at a bus stop or riding a bike home.
I’m thankful for the calm that got us home.
I’m thankful for the people closest to my heart.
I’m thankful that she’s fearless.