No Mother Nature, you cannot take my kids to see the wizard.
Last night we experienced the second real or at least perceived to be a real threat to our families safety since I became a father. Midday the local weather channel announced a Tornado Watch for our area in Ontario, citing “signature tornadic activity”. Four days earlier, Goderich, Ontario, one of our most beloved small towns was severely damaged by a tornado, as a result I am sure everyone was playing it on the safe side.
It was just a year ago that we moved our family home to Canada after living in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost eight years. We laughed and made the obvious jokes about how California was going to “slide into the sea” and so we came home. During our time there we experienced a few tiny earthquakes but one afternoon there was a pretty significant rumble that shook more that just the earth around us, it shook up mom and dad as well. Having very young baby in the house, for the first time, I found myself thinking about how I needed to take care of someone else now as well? It wasn’t just about covering my own ass any more. So I did some research to know what to do and what not to do in case of an earthquake.
This is an often unmentioned aspect of fatherhood, we take on the responsibility of keeping our family safe and we do it without really giving it much thought on the front end. In case you didn’t know yet, It’s our job. Keep your kids safe, give them a safe environment to learn in and be aware of where they are and who they are with. We provide them with a realm of safety in hopes that they will flourish. But times have changed, the days of protecting the cave are in the past, or at least mostly in the past? What do you do when there is a tornado or earthquake warning in your area? If you don’t know you better find out! We thought that in Ontario we were relatively protected from these major Acts of God, wrapped up in a blanket of geographic safety and cuddled by our socialist health care system (ha).
As the people of Goderich, Ontario will attest, we are not entirely immune. In a tornado, your cave becomes a bathroom in the basement. Your shield is a mattress or some pillows and cushions. And your sword? Your figuritive sword is preparedness. Knowing what to do in emergencies is your sword to ward off the lionlike roar of mother Earth’s will trying to take your babies away to see the wizard. The modern day dad fights different battles than the caveman, the Grecian or the pioneer. Thankfully we face fewer foes, but never the less we need to be prepared for them. Check out your local Red Cross site and find a list of emergency plans, checklists etc so that you can be be ready in case you ever need to be. Most of our Dads forgot to pass along a to do list so we need to pass one around to each other.
It’s not nearly as sexy to tout preparation as your sword, but your kids don’t care how sexy you are anyways, and they still want you to protect the cave.