Living in the Storm

Things that I find ordinary, my daughter is fascinated by. The oven light, the computer cord, the grass!

But last night, she seemed to find something that terrified me, ordinary.

I was blessed with an active baby who wears herself out simply by being in constant motion. So we ‘re a good match. Hāna needs forced rest to combat her daily aerobics and her introverted mother needs “me time.” Aside from two sick nights spent in the hospital, she’s had months and months of uninterrupted deep sleep at night. She’s slept through several storms, but this is her first spring in Texas. And yesterday’s nature show was her first real storm.

I don’t like saying I “suffer,” because many people suffer much worse than me. But I do have anxiety, that’s for sure. So when alarms are going off on the TV AND outside, I get in my head thinking the worst possible scenarios.

At first it sounded like the storm was far away. I took several deep breaths. My husband and I laughed and let out a sigh of relief.

Then the hail hit.

The storm was so loud, I couldn’t hear anything coming from the baby monitor, but the light was flashing in red to signal noise. I assumed Hāna was crying, so I ran in to pick her up and bring her in our bedroom.

When I got back to the bedroom and looked at her face, she was smiling. And then I realized she was never crying in the first place. The hail was so loud it registered on the baby monitor and that’s what I was seeing.

The storm persisted, and got worse as I stood there holding her. My husband glued to the TV waiting for updates.

I could hear my heart beating out of my chest and I thought for sure she would be affected by it. That she would feel my anxiety and start panicking, too. She looked around the room noticing the loud banging sounds surrounding her, and I waited for her to cry. But that moment never came. Each second that she wasn’t scared, I wasn’t scared either.

Twenty minutes of what sounded like golf balls being thrown at every inch of our house, and she still wasn’t phased. She was so happy to be up with mom and dad that it didn’t matter why.

When the storm finally passed, I gave her some milk and put her back down. She eventually put herself to sleep without fuss.

It reminded me that as parents, our kids teach us just as much as we teach them.Without Hāna, I’m not sure I would have been able to calm down and live in the moment the way that I did. Because of her, my memory of the night is not of how anxious I was. It’s of how happy she made my husband and I in those few moments that felt like hours as the storm dragged on.

She taught me how to live in the storm.