It is all a bit surreal for me. My heart breaks for those who have lost so much. It is hard to see photos of roads I used to drive everyday now lakes, creeks, and rivers. I am concerned for friends still trying to work. It is weird seeing footage of towns not far away completely submerged in water. Yet where I am I wouldn’t even know anything unusual was happening if it wasn’t for the media. It’s not even raining here, it hasn’t all day.
I thank God that my family are safe and not directly affected by floodwaters. It’s true that when choosing a place to live we deliberately chose somewhere very unlikely to flood, because we like to be cautious, but we also recognise His provision in keeping us safe. I am also thankful to my parents for keeping me calm.
I didn’t know anything was happening yesterday until dad rang around lunchtime, “have you been watching the news?” I hadn’t. I was still shaken from the footage of Toowoomba Monday night, I didn’t want to see it again. “Not wanting to panic you but there’s a big storm on the way. The motorway will probably flood so we might not be able to get to you later tonight. Do you have enough food for a few days?” “Um, Alexis needs bananas,” was all I could come up with.
We weren’t at risk of flooding from a river, but we were at risk of being flooded in, and then if we had a freak storm or heavy rain we might have had reason to worry. Corey was out of town when I was trying to decide whether to stay or go. I was nervous. Dad brought me some basic groceries, put petrol in my car, and lent me a torch before saying goodbye. I was perfectly fine to stay here, but then the thought of being trapped here alone with Alexis frightened me, especially when coupled with well-meaning friends and relatives voicing their concern. I ended up asking my parents if I should stay with them.
The roads were nasty so they came to get us as I was reluctant to drive through puddles and potholes. They knew we’d be safe here but because it was “go now or stay” we went. Then it stopped raining. This morning my husband was able to get home and bring the car to meet us at my parents’ place. We were able to get home easily because the back road subject to flash-flooding was dry.
We thank God for the sunshine today because a) we are not isolated and b) we were praying for God to intervene in the flood situation. Although the rain stopped too late for far too many people in this volatile state of ours, who knows what the destruction might be like if it had rained all day today as heavily as the last few… I can’t explain why God allows natural disasters and tragedies to happen, but I do know that when we run to our heavenly daddy, He hears our prayers. We have to be thankful for the small things.
Although it was unnecessary for me to run off to mummy and daddy’s house last night I don’t regret it. We had a great time, I felt safe and I enjoyed the company. Most importantly Alexis felt safe and secure and loved. My parents and I took turns to break away from the horrific images on tv and just play with Alexis. Kids, especially babies, are incredibly sensitive to emotions of the adults around them. They pick up our fear and dread. The best thing I could do for her was play, laugh, crawl around on the floor with her, just forget the world and make my baby giggle. It was easier to do that with my familToy around rather than on my own. Besides, when I can’t get a hug from hubby a hug from mum and dad is almost as good. I’m still relatively young. I’m not ashamed to say I still need my parents occasionally.
This evening Corey and I were trying to watch the news and cook dinner but it was all too much. Alexis wouldn’t eat her dinner but she wouldn’t play. She was just unsettled. “I think she’s just overwhelmed with it all,” he said. So we switched off the TV, turned on the cd player, and had a nice long (not so) spontaneous dance break. Alexis absolutely adored it.
It’s hard being a parent at a time of uncertainty. The feeling of responsibility can be overwhelming at times. The most important thing is keeping our children safe. It is wise to stay up to date with news and be alert for warnings. However, if you aren’t in immediate danger, try to take some time to reassure young ones that they do not need to stress. It is important for babies to feel safe and loved, and taking some time to comfort babies makes us feel better too.