Let me start by telling you I’m a proud Texan. I love my state and my home town. I love my house and all it’s country beauty. I love my Texas family and friends and after Harvey I love it all even more.
The day harvey hit and the week following it was one of the most stressful times of my life. I’m both happy and yet guilty to say my house survived with no damage at all. Even my cars were untouched. At least that we know of. I can’t say the same for many others however.
That day, my husband thankfully stayed home. I would have been a wreck (even more than I was) had he not been there. I also may not have seen him for days. That day I had to face the fact that my house may very well be under water soon and my babies could possibly be in danger. My local officials made it clear that driving was dangerous. My biggest fear (odd I know) is being trapped in my car with my babies in water. I crindge driving over bridges. I took comfort in the fact that if we had to be in water I would have more control at home.
Why didn’t I leave you may ask? You first have to understand that living on the coast means you will face hurricanes. Its nothing new. Life doesnt stop when a new hurricane develops. People still need their jobs, people still have bills to pay and companies will remain open through a hurricane. My husband would have went to work had the streets not have been flooded already. He actually had to work from home. We had the option basically to evacuate when he stopped working, get stuck in traffic trying to get out, and waiting out the storm in a car OR wait it out at home. With 3 kids being strapped in carseats and rushing water in the streets, what would you choose?
All my kids’ life jackets were out, our emergency bag was ready, my important documents where in sealed bags. Diapers in ziplock bags. Air mattress aired up to throw the kids on to get to higher ground. We were literally preparing to swim out of our house with 3 kids, 2 pugs and a cat . If that wasn’t enough we had a plan for getting on the roof of our house. I never thought I would ever have to experience this. We were having to prepare for the worst. I think we did the best we could. We spent the day looking out the windows watching the ditches fill, then the street, then the yard, and then we decided to start preparing the house.
We started unplugging everything except the TVs and cell phones. My husband finished moving up his guitars and amp. Then it was my turn. I walked into my sewing room, I sat at my chair and I cried. I cried thinking of my kids having to experience something like water coming into our home. About them having to fear swimming in black water in the middle of the night. About losing our dream home we worked so hard and waited so long to finally have. It was a horrible feeling. I slowly started putting away my fabric. As I did, I came accross my mermaid scale fabric that took forever to get my hands on. I smiled thinking how excited I was to get this and then I was sad how I never cut into it because I was too scared to ruin it.
I looked at the pretty blue scales and I decided that if we were going to swim out of this house we were going to have mermaid legs. And so I made 4 pairs of mermaid leggings. One for each of my girls and one for myself. I think I needed them the most now looking back.
My most prized posessions are my children. And even if I lost everything in my home I would be fine if I could bring some comfort to my babies. I knew they were stressed from seeing mommy and daddy stressed. And I knew my 3 little girls (maybe not so much my 6 month old) would love to swim with mermaid legs.
So I cut it. I sewed it up. I watched the water out my window as it got closer and I sewed faster. I stopped to cry a few times but I finished. My babies were going to have mermaid legs if I had to sew until water was at my feet. It never came to that thankfully. I finished. I unplugged my machines and put them up high. I finished moving up my fabric and I brought in my finished leggings.
The look on their faces when we all put on our mermaid legs took the weight off my shoulders. We discussed having to swim outside and how they would all have life jackets had it came to that. We talked about mermaid legs helping us swim better. We laughed about fishes being outside our door. And suddenly we were ok. We were all ok. We continued the night watching Sofia the First and put sheets on that air mattress we blew up and had a mermaid slumber party.
And we survived Harvey
The days after, we had many scary moments. Being near the river was our biggest concern. We didn’t flood but if we were going to, it would be when the river crested. But by then we were able to drive out of here on a sunny day and my kids would be fine. I’m happy to say the water is going down and our home is fine. But I’m guilty because that isnt the case for everyone.
If you could have seen these complete strangers helping everyone they could. If you could have seen businesses giving up their beds and their food to people who lost everything. If you could see how an entire community could pull together to make the best out of a horrible situation, you would see why I love Texas.
And if you can make mermaid legs to help you swim better, you should.