Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Calm Before the [Franken]Storm

All of New York City, and perhaps all of the northeastern United States, is battening down the hatches and preparing for Sandy.

I don't have a television -- well, actually, I do, but I don't have cable service -- and I can't seem to find my radio -- I haven't used it in months since reception was poor in my old apartment -- so I'm feeling very out of touch. I've looked for information online but just reading the coverage, it's hard to feel that emotional charge that is conveyed by a breathless newscaster.

Still, I'm a little anxious.

I was never nervous with a storm before. But somehow, feeling that responsibility that a parent carries... it's different.

I'm feeling preoccupied with my need to protect Calliope, even though it's not at all clear to me what I need to protect her from. It seems wildly unlikely that our lives will be in danger. So I don't know what else there is to worry about.

But I'm still sitting here, wondering if I have enough water stored (two kettles, one big soup pot, plus one half gallon jar... plus the bathtub, for use with flushing). And I don't even know for sure that I wouldn't have access to water if we do lose power! My friend's husband says that in their building, the water is not powered by electricity.

But hearing the wind howl through the leaky windows in my top floor apartment... I'm keyed up.

There's not many cars on Ocean Parkway, the major thoroughfare outside my building (my apartment faces it), though I'm hearing more ambulances than usual.

It hasn't started raining yet, yet I'm wondering if I should sleep in Calliope's room, on the floor. I have no idea why that would be helpful, except that I feel anxious about being further away from her. This is a time I wish I could pull her into bed with me. Unfortunately, she is exceedingly fond of her crib and I don't think she would spring for this plan.

It's very disconcerting to see how different this storm feels, now that I am a parent. Calliope was just ten days old when Hurricane Irene struck, and I was so battered by her birth that I was scarcely aware of it. My mom was clearly in charge of our safety and took us back to Massachusetts where I could recover. This is very different. I'm the grown up here, the only one, and Calliope relies on me entirely.

It's a heady responsibility.


  1. I hope the storm is gentle to you and I am sure you will do a great job comforting and protecting your little girl!

  2. Good luck with Sandy! I know that sometimes weather forecasters are spot on, and other times it is all hype....hopefully they are just being paranoid. Keep all of us posted on how you are both doing.

  3. Best of luck to you. I'm BK based also and it's a completely different feeling when you're also in charge of a babies well being. Hoping we don't get hit too hard.

  4. I feel the same way. I have never been really concerned about other storms but sandy has me very anxious! Stay safe! Keep us posted!

  5. I was surprised how much differently I reacted to the storm we had this summer. Because her bedroom is on the second level I brought her downstairs. I'm trying not to overreact to Sandy but still be prepared. I think we're too far inland to get much of it, but they're already cancelling schools and telling people to stock up on water and batteries. I had a really hard time leaving for work tonight knowing that if it did hit tonight I would be away from her. I'm really hoping it's just hype and fear of a repeat of the derecho that has everyone around here freaked out.

  6. The big issue I found is inconvenience and warmth. You might lose power so be ready with flashlights. I don't know what city life will be like but I think if you have no heat you need to stay with mom. It gets cold fast. I would unpack your warm clothes, finish any laundry or dishes you need, maybe bake something yummy and comforting. You can watch and listen to live streams on your cell phone or computer. Just make sure you keep charging them. Good luck, I'll be thinking of the two of you. You will be fine, just might be without some modern conveniences.