I put the baby down for a nap, I cut my older sons hair, and I sat down to file my nails when... I heard and felt wind, no it must be thunder, or a train going past the front door... oh but wait, there are no train tracks in front of my house, so maybe it's an airplane. Oh my God, the natural gas is causing an explosion under our house. What else would be making my television violently shake back and forth, somehow not tipping over, and my cabinets slam and glasses rattle and pictures and OH MY GOD IS THAT WALL MOVING!?!?! Those thoughts happened in a mere second in my mind. With the TV and wall movement I was standing and heading for my son in the playroom, whom I grabbed, opened the front door, saw neighbors starting to come out of their house and sent him in the direction of my friend next door. Their dogs were confused, and looking around as they headed toward the house. I ran for the baby, napping upstairs. The super loud, thunderous cracking of the house mixed with the loudest rumble of what I thought was thunder at first, but soon became too loud to be thunder, plus the sustained movement of my walls and everything in my house, including the furniture I was sitting on. I grabbed the baby and we were out the front door as the shaking calmed down. It was a matter of seconds, but it felt like slow motion, and a flood of thoughts, including "this house is going to implode and swallow my children and I whole." I have never experienced anything like it, and it was both cool and terrifying. Only cool once we learned it was an earthquake, 5.9 magnitude, and it was over. Everyone was just fine. So now, we can all say we lived through an earthquake, and we have our stories, and it never has to happen again.
We were starting to laugh about it, already, once everyone had checked in and was safe. Everyone was still a bit nervous over aftershocks, but they should be less of an event than the first one. We are still a little shaken, I think.
My 4 year old was screaming, "Mommy! What is that!? Is there a monster in our house?!" I assured him there was no monster, but I overheard him telling our one cat that "It was so scary. There was an earthclake monster outside in the dirt!" He talked about it the rest of the day. He was a super sponge, soaking up every tiny bit of info the news was giving out on TV. He kept asking me to show him an earthquake, and I told him he experienced it, and that is a way more effective example than a picture. I thought to pull out the video camera and record an interview with him. You can do this, too, especially for really young kiddos who may forget the experience. I did give the date, the ages of my kiddos, and the magnitude of the quake. I asked him what happened, what did he hear and see, what did he do, how did he feel about all of that. He added in a little more info, too. Now, if he forgets, I have preserved the memory for him.
So, I end with 2 things:
#1 I told my neighbor I'm so done with this house. Between the mosquitoes, and now the earthquake... I'm out. Then I found out like most of the east coast felt it, so I'm screwed. I'll just have to stay here and have my blood drained by little flying bastards or be swallowed up by the Earth.
#2 I'm blaming any messes in this house on the earthquake. I'm not sure how long I will drag this out, but "Oh, please ignore the mess... we had an earthquake." will be my go-to for awhile.