It will be a day that I will never forget. It might not seem like much to west coasters but us east coasters are not well prepared for earthquakes.
Everyone's experience was different, some less scarier than others. I kinda wish we were in the less scarier of the two. But, we weren't.
It happened to be a gorgeous day with a slight breeze, you could not ask for a better day. We started it off meeting the new pediatrician for the boys, who turned out to be amazing! Success in my book. Followed it up with a flu shot, which Will was non too happy about but he got to pick out a toy from the treasure box, which he thought was totally cool. Came home and had a snack. Then we were off again, this time to Will's swim class. My little fishy did wonderfully. Jumping off the side, swimming with one noodle, awesome kicks, and going under water to grab rings. He always comes out looking so happy and content. Did I mention that I cried when I saw him jump off the side, unassisted? Good thing Lew wasn't there. We decided to take a shower there because we were going to head to Target and pick up a couple things that we needed.
I'm putting every moment in there because it is helping me come to terms that we were where we were because that's where God wanted us to be at that moment. Otherwise the what if's would drive me insane.
We got to Target around 1:00. Parked further back in the parking garage than normal but near the cart return. We picked up a couple items, definitely not a big Target shop for us and I let Will pick out a toy because he did not cry at the Pediatrician appointment. Surprisingly he picked out a toy quite quickly and we were ready to check out. I found a line that had one lady in it, in and out I thought. She was signing up for a Target red card, and their computers were acting up.
Clue 1. Something is up. Did not figure this out tell later. They moved her to another register next to us. Same problem, she wasn't able to get the key pad working in order to sign up for the card. Clue 2. Something definitely had been up. But, we were all going about our day as if nothing was going to happen in the next 10 minutes.
Decided after the busy morning, and frankly tired of drinking water that I would get myself a iced tea from the Starbucks. Took maybe 4 minutes. On our way to the elevator, which Will wanted to take.
Got off and headed to the car where I first put our bags and water in. Then I grabbed Will and put him in his seat, pulled out his toy for him. Dropped the cart off just across the way from us. Went back to Will to open up his toy, as he was being pretty persistent.
Felt nauseus and thought there must be a lot of cars coming up the parking garage because you can feel them drive up. Feeling past and then all of sudden, I was thrown off balance. I looked up from Will's toy and saw the huge cement columns swaying. Literally moving sideways. The ground beneath us was rolling, like it was a wave, and was lifting it with such ease. I threw the toy down, unhooked Will and hugged him close to my chest like never before. To see these cement columns and cement walls tilting sideways was like nothing your mind could have imagined. All I thought was this sucker is coming down and I better have Will in my arms.
Cars were still driving up because they say that cars didn't really feel much, maybe a rumble or two. Customers were quickly getting to their cars. The weird thing is, there was no screaming. Then you see people racing down the steps in Target and an you hear the store alarm. To be honest, I thought I had just hallucinated. Did I really see tons of cement tilted on it's side? I couldn't have. Thank goodnesss Will had no idea what was going on. I think I pressed his head so tightly to my body that he just closed his eyes. I quickly grabbed him and put him back in the seat, with my hands shaking and my eyes starting to fill up with tears. Cars were still pulling in and that is when I thought, I must have just imagined what had happened.
As I got towards the exit awaiting to go down, I noticed the line going down the hill to get out. Then I saw people running and jumping in their cars. As we got out of the garage, I could see the sun shining and thought just get me the f*** out of here! Hands shaking, body numb and tears welling in my eyes, I then knew we had been threw an earthquake. I instantly tried calling Lew, no answer. Called my sister. No answer. Called my good friend. No answer. Kept calling Lew. No answer. Finally, I got a text from my sister that said, "We just had an earthquake!" She was on the fifth floor of her office building and was out safely.
I drove home so fast, I just wanted to be in the safety of my own home and away from the parking garage. Ella was quite scared when we got home. She had pulled up an area rug because she had been trying to hide. This is a 100lb Rottweiler we are talking about. Scared out of her mind. Pictures on the wall were sideways, dvds and games on the floor. Luckily nothing was broken but honestly I could care less. I was just happy we made it out of that stinkin' garage!
After about an hour, I had heard from Lew, my sister (a couple of times) and my Pape. All were safe.
To my boys...as your mommy I am so glad that we were all together. To my first baby Will, I am sorry if I squeezed you so tight (which you told daddy later) but I wanted to make sure that if the gargage was falling down, you were with me. Thank you for holding on to me tightly too and for covering up your little baby brother. You were amazing. Such a strong boy. To my second baby boy, thank you for being right where you were. I could not imagine how I would have managed a newborn and a toddler during this. You were tucked nicely in there, probably lulled to sleep by the rolling cement under my feet. My arms were wrapped around your big brother, his around mine and together I was in one giant hug with my boys. With you both so close, everything was going to be okay. And it was.
So Will and baby boy that is our story. The story of how we made it through our first and hopefully last earthquake. Together.
p.s. we love you too daddy. we wish you would have been there to protect us.