Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

I was on the phone with Sarah this morning when she commented that she thought they were having an earthquake. I could hear a lot of noise in the background that sounded like a panic to me, but she reassured me that it was just a conversation at an adjacent table in the small restaurant in her neighborhood. During the twenty or thirty seconds or so that I was on the phone with her during this event, I realized how helpless I would be if she were caught in the midst of rubble three thousand miles away.

She and Ned are just fine, and I went on about some errands, but arrived home to a phone call from his mom. She wanted to know whether I knew their status as she had been watching the news coverage and couldn’t get them on the phone. By the time I returned her call, she too was less concerned.

We all wish we could protect our loved ones from whatever harm might come their way. I can’t tell you the number of nights I lay waiting for the sound that the last one of my children had come home safely. I know from experience that natural events and accidents can put any of us in danger at a moment’s notice.

With Walker, my concerns are mainly about the parking lot where he spends much of his day, gathering baskets. He has that confidence that young people have that nothing can happen to him, so he’s not as wary as I wish he were.

After a young teacher in Memphis was struck by lightning in her school parking lot several years ago, I gave Walker a talking to about not going outside in thunderstorms. The issue only presents itself a few times a year, but I wonder whether his bosses would pay attention to a young man with limited intelligence about the dangers presented by lightning. Would Walker be assertive enough to speak up if they told him to go outside? I just don’t know.

I hope that all those we love are safe and well tonight. I know Walker is, he’s sitting on the couch waiting for his dinner, just like his dad.


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