September 08, 2013

Earthquakes Can Lead to Family Warmth

Sometimes, I try to force feel-good family moments upon my kids.  I want us to have discussions that are uplifting, encouraging, and sweet, and not wind up with insults, tears, and someone being sent to their room for sassing off.  But somehow, despite my best efforts, I just can’t seem to pull it off. 

Last Sunday was one such instance.  David and I wanted to talk about a few things with our kids, one of which was our re-instituting an allowance for them (hello? Who wouldn’t want to sit still, be sweet, and listen to that?).  There was bickering, negativity, and the obligatory four-seems-to-be-too-many-kids-for-peaceful-discussion-so-one-gets-sent-to-their-room.  Argh. 

But then a strange thing happened.  About an hour later, we had gone our separate ways in the house – some were resting, some were reading, some were doing Lego, some were rearranging a snake cage (you can figure out who did what). And then the earth moved.  Literally.

I was on the couch trying to nap when I was shaken awake by the shimmy of the earth.  I looked at Luke – who was laying on the floor reading – his eyes wide.  David called out from the bedroom – “Earthquake!” 

It was over in a few seconds, and wasn’t a big one (it was 27 kilometers deep and about 25 kilometers away) but it was enough to shake us out of what we were doing.  Everyone gathered in the living room, and this same family who struggled to speak civilly to one another a mere hour ago was all warmth and concern and chatter as we piled on the couch and talked about how the earthquake felt to us. 

Nothing like an earthquake to stir up some spontaneous feel-good family moments.

It was a good reminder for me: our kids do love each other – and if it takes a little shake of the earth to make them show it, so be it.

And for the record, I don’t like earthquakes.  My default reaction is to stand up and “surf” the tremor while praying for it to stop. My friend told me she likes to lie on the floor to “get the full effect.”   I’m definitely not there yet.

Here are a few pictures from a recent flight David did.
These guys seem cracked up by the load they're carrying from the plane
No trouble picking my husband out of a crowd

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