The tornado alarm went off as soon as Tommy came home from school.
“What’s happening?” Tommy asked, taking off his backpack. “Are we dying?”
“It’s a tornado warning,” I said and flipped the TV to the local news station.
“KAI-LAN!” Natalie shrieked. “I was watching KAI-LAN! PUT IT BACK ON KAI-LAN!”
“Sweetheart, I need to make sure a tornado isn’t coming for us. Do you want to get blown away?” I wondered.
Well. Of course the three-year-old wouldn’t get it.
But Tommy did. He’s been obsessed with tornadoes ever since we told him that Oklahoma, the place where we’re moving to next, gets a lot of them.
“A tornado? Oh my GOD!” Tommy bellowed. “I’m going to go get my tornado book! Are we going to die?”
Jesus. I was starting to get a little panicked. Especially when Tom went, “I can see it! Give me the camera.” And proceeded to run outside.
I mean.....the HELL? If you can SEE the tornado, common sense would say to GET THE CRAP INSIDE. But no. My husband took MY camera and darted to the front yard with it.
“COME INSIDE!” I begged. I spotted the tornado and was two seconds away from full freak out mode.
“Be right there,” Tom said. He was behaving as though it were a bright sunny day and that there wasn’t a tornado facing us.
We don’t have a basement so I started ushering the kids in the closet.
“Why? Are we going to get blown away? Look what a tornado did to this house!” And Tommy showed me a picture from his tornado book where the house was completely destroyed.
What is wrong with the men in this house? Tommy’s father was currently in the yard photographing the tornado. And Tommy was happily telling me what one could do.
“A tornado can tear through a house in a matter of seconds,” Tommy read from his book.
“Son. Let me have that. You’re scaring Mommy,” I said and tossed it across the room.
“HEY!” Tommy shouted indignantly.
Tom came in then. “I better get ready for work.”
“WORK?!” What was he talking about work for? He couldn’t possibly go to work when there was a tornado looming nearby. Plus, he couldn’t leave me.
“The local news just said that the tornado went away,” Tom said, grabbing his uniform.
“But another one could form,” I reminded him.
The newscaster then reported that funnels were spotted above the military base. Where we were currently residing.
“Oh my God,” I said. I was trying hard not to lose my cool. I had to stay brave for my children.
“It’ll be okay,” Tom said casually. “Just head into the closet if it gets bad.”
“But..” I sputtered.
“It’ll be okay,” Tom repeated.
“But..what if a tornado comes through? I’m not ready to die yet. There is so many things I need to accomplish. Such as getting my book published and having a gay best friend,” I said, wringing my hands nervously.
Tom raised an eyebrow. “A gay best friend?”
I nodded. “Yes. The guys on Modern Family seem awesome. And Tori Spelling has Gunkles. You know, a gay couple who are also considered uncles to her kids.”
Tom blinked at me. “As I said before, you’ll be fine.”
He left soon after that. The tornado alarm sounded again. What I wanted to do was rock back and forth repeating, “He left us. He left us,” like that blond girl on Jurassic Park. But again, I had my kids. So I clapped my hands and went, “Right, isn’t this fun?”
“Are we dying?” Tommy said.
“KAI-LAN!” Natalie screeched.
We waited in the closet until the tornado alarm went off. I was ready to get out of there. It’s SMALL. Plus Tommy totally farted and I wanted to pass out. And also, and I get this sounds bad, I kept thinking, “I hope this is all done by the time Lost comes on.” It’s like, sorry, don’t have time for tornadoes when Lost is on. Come again on Monday when nothing is on. Thanks.
When the alarm stopped the newscaster said we were clear. No more tornadoes, just a threat of a severe thunderstorm.
“So we aren’t going to get blown away?” Tommy’s shoulders slumped with disappointment. Seriously. What is WITH the men in this house?
“KAI-LAN?” Natalie tugged on my shirt.
“Oh…fine…I think we’re okay now.” I put Natalie’s show back on.
“Is another tornado coming someday? Are we going to get blown away then?” Tommy prattled on. He spoke of nothing BUT tornadoes the rest of the night. I’d be all, “Time to brush your teeth,” and he’d be all, “Tornadoes are cool,” and I’d be all, “Time to get in bed,” and he’d be all, “Tornadoes can blow us away.” He even made a paper tornado.
I, for one, hope we never have to experience a tornado barreling through the neighborhood.
Especially on good television night.