I was in the dentist’s chair when the blinds shook slightly. Earlier in the appointment I made the connection that there was a window behind the dark colored wooden blinds. I thought at first that the blinds were covering faux windows added to create the illusion of a window.
The shaking got louder. I stumbled out of the dentist’s chair. The hygienist ran in one direction. A little child ran towards her mother. The receptionist and the other hygienist all led us to an interior doorway. I ran in the opposite direction…only a few feet but it felt like a much greater distance to get my teen daughter. She was sitting with her back to the a large row of windows in the waiting room.
Once we were all away from windows, the tension was released a little. One of the staff took a call from her kids. I walked back in to the dental exam room to get my cell. Why? Why did I think I would have service on today of all days? My service in this semirural area is patchy at best. Once I turned the phone back on, I got a few “All Circuits Are Busy” messages before hanging up.
I walked the few feet back to wear the staff, the dentist, and the children were standing. I must have looked a little crazy in my protective eye wear and dental bib, but I needed to call home. You see while I had my teen at the dentist with me, I had left my preteen and my son at home. My preteen was doing workbooks and my son was watching a movie…at least that is how I left them. With no way to get through by cell, I tried on the office phone. After the second attempt I got through. Phew is all I can say.
Once I talked to my preteen I felt calmer. In fact, she wasn’t nervy or discombobulated at all. I think she was actually trying to calm me down. Now how about that? A true role reversal!
With my crown affixed and my mouth irrigated and my ridiculous hat and eye wear trashed, I made my way to the van. At this point, my teen was aksing why we needed to go home. Why couldn’t we go straight to her practice, she wondered. I may not have been at my calmest as I explained that we needed to go home and get the other two. I guess I was as unfazed by natural disaster and calamities at her age, too.
Isn’t life different as soon as you have children? Don’t you stop worrying about you and start worrying about others first? I know I do. Once I had my three children in view, I breathed a little easier. Except that I got a mildly panicky call from my dad asking if we had heard from my mother. My dad was at work in VA while my mother was at home MD. All circuits were busy for him too.
As we drove to my teen’s practice, I was almost certain that all school activities would be canceled tonight, but could find a text or email from school. A call to dad that actually connected was a good thing. He told me one of my kids that all activities were cancelled.
And here’s a little known plus about having older kids. I don’t make any phone calls when driving. I know that by law I am not supposed to, but with kids in the van with me it is super easy to have Kid #1 call Dad, and Kid #2 call Grandma, and Kid #3 to search my phone for emails about school cancellations. It’s the 2010 equivalent of “Take a letter, Ms. Jones!”
This earthquake, like the last earthquake in the DC area left me a little rattled to say the least…pun intended!