I usually post on Tuesday’s. And though it is still technically Tuesday, I usually post earlier than this time of the day. But we’ve been under rather unusual circumstances since last Thursday, the day we evacuated our home in Houston ahead of Hurricane Ike. I had previously put much of my own advice into action, but anticipating power loss, we just didn’t want to be stuck there with 5 month olds (as of today!).
Because I am from San Antonio, and because my family and their families live there, being here has been a bit of a “Hurrication” – that would be a hurricane evacuation slash vacation all wrapped in one. We’ve been blessed to have family around, water running through pipes, and electricity here in San Antonio, something we still do not have at our home in Houston.
My dad and I did drive up to Houston and back on Sunday to check on the house while Jennifer and my mom stayed back with the twins. I guess that’s one unique thing about being a two-mom household: there is no “tim-the-toolman-husband” to send to get stuff cleaned up, boarded up, and repaired. And though my dad went with me on this trip, Jennifer and I are both the tender mom’s who cuddle babies to sleep and put that rectal thermometer in just right, and the ones who replace ceiling fans, electrical switches, and build workbenches in the garage.
We cleaned up tree debris, cleaned out the two refrigerators and freezers, took video of the ceiling and back door leaks (small), got some clothes, made the place “flow” for when we return (towels are ready for baby baths, sheets are changed, tables cleared, diaper stations reloaded, etc.), took fuel and ice and water to neighbors and friends, hugged some necks, said some prayers, and drove back. We were there maybe two hours.
There’s no sight of power restoration in our residential neighborhood. And even when the grid comes back, a block of 10 homes, including ours, will likely still be lacking because a 60 foot tree fell across the power lines to our house, also knocking down the framing of a garage apartment on some new construction behind our house.
My office opens up officially tomorrow and I won’t be there. Nor the next day. Nor the next. The school systems are closed through late next week at least. The Montessori School where our kids go follows the school schedule. Translation – no childcare. Speaking of which, HOLY SHIT STAY-AT-HOME PARENTS, you have the most difficult and most rewarding jobs known to (wo)man. We have been doing this for five days now and it is both a blessing and an exhaustion. Single parents who do it, much less with multiples have an even MORE special place in Heaven.
Nevertheless, we are FAR more fortunate than hundred’s of thousands of others and so despite the relatively minor inconveniences, I cannot complain. I can only be homesick and anxious about my job. Not too long ago, Hurricane Katrina devastated greater New Orleans and gulf coast communities. Many of our friends and family members were directly affected, some losing EVERYTHING. Jennifer and I spent a couple days volunteering at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston at a shelter for those bused out of New Orleans. Without ever seeing their homes, what they lost in the tangible and intangible, you could see it in their faces.
We are grateful, then. I should hope that it doesn’t take devastation to remind us always of the blessings we have, but circumstances such as those certainly give us pause. And in that time, I’ve stepped back a moment from our we’d-rather-be-in-our-own-house-it’s-hard-living-with-infants-far-away-from-your-home-and-routine sentiments to see one of the joys of evacuating to San Antonio: we were able to gather all the “cousins” for the first time in their lives – a situation which would not have otherwise occurred until Christmas.
So anyway, I guess today’s post just goes to show we mom’s of multiples that sometimes the answer to “How Do You Do It?” is simply “we just DO.”