you think about your life a little differently when you have a child to protect.
there were some major storms in the raleigh area this afternoon. we'd planned to be at the local fair grounds at the arena today for a roller derby bout after we purchased a living social deal several months ago. when the weather forecasted strong/severe storms today i thought it would be fun to hear the rain on the roof of the arena, and possibly see some lightning in the large windows. i had no idea how severe the storms would be.
when we were seated at the arena the announcer explained the emergency procedures in case they'd have to sound the storm sirens. everyone listened, but sort of brushed off the procedures and was ready for some roller derby action. about 10 to 15 minutes into the first bout the sirens went off. my heart skipped a little beat and we jumped into action. we calmly went downstairs (into what i called the bunker) which was the basement under the arena. it all seemed sort of silly since we did not really know what was going on outside. will checked his droid and pulled up the weather, but aside from a tornado warning, we really did not know the full extent of what was happening.
after about 30 minutes of waiting it seemed to just be annoying to be trapped in the humid bunker waiting to be let back upstairs. then - out of nowhere - a man came through the hallway yelling: "if/when we tell you to get down and face the well, you'll need to get down on your knees, face the wall, and tuck your head!" things started getting a little more real at this point. before we knew it, he was coming back down the hall telling everyone to get down and get into position. while i was nervous, i was not really scared and felt a sense of calm come over me.
however, what i was scared for was a couple that was crouched down beside us with their infant son. the mother laid him on his blanket, pressed against the cinder blocks, covered him with another blanket, and held her husband's hand as they pressed their bodies as protection over his. you never really value your own life like you value it when you're caring for another living being. i prayed that God would protect this little baby, and protect this family.
luckily, after 50 minutes of time spent in the basement the storms had passed and we were allowed back up into the arena. our nerves were rattled, but the roller derby went on, and everyone in the arena appeared to be unscathed. however, many other people on the south east coast were affected by these extreme storms today, and we offer up prayers for all of those who have suffered and continue to suffer the effects of this severe weather.
so be sure to kiss your little ones tonight, and be thankful for every single precious moment.