The tornado siren went off right before the boys' bedtime last night. It ended with the words: "Take. Shelter. Now." I nearly finished vacuuming the apartment and was annoyed that I had to rush the end of my routine. I love watching crumbs disappearing into the powerful machine. The siren was loud and deafening. They test the warning system the first Tuesday of every month at 10 a.m. I have two words: baby-waker.
Thankfully, my common sense kicked in right around when the wind started howling. We grabbed the boys and headed into the basement. Shortly after, our building lost electricity for the next 14 hours. The boys had a dark and exciting night, but they settled down quite well after all the commotion.
We survived. The tornado, and the flood of questions and comments from Emeth.
Why is there no light, Mommy?
Emeth wants to see, Mommy.
Why is there no number on the clock?
Why is the bathroom so dark?
Switch on the light, Mommy.
Mommy's stove is not working.
There is no lec-tris-ty, Mommy.
I tried to explain this new concept to him. This all-important thing called "electricity" that apparently makes (almost) everything work. Hans came to my rescue.
Hans: Emeth, everything in this world is made of atoms. And atoms are surround by a cloud of electrons. (Sorry, but I can't recall the exact words between p-orbital and positive holes) ...Do you understand, Emeth?
(End of questions. Amazing.)
I married him for many reasons.
The world was dark and quiet last night. Perfect for conversations.
We thought about Emeth's questions and his fierce need to understand the world.
We talked about the tsunami in Japan, and imagined how parents of young children would explain why their homes were no longer standing, and how all their belongings were washed away.
We talked about the Holocaust. We talked about the children in concentration camps. The babies and their nursing mothers. We thought about the horrors of explaining violence and cruelty to three-year-olds.
We talked about our world with little children. And how life is so different since they came. And the happiness of belonging to them.