Here in Louisiana, we are currently being faced with our first tropical threat of the Hurricane Season. As I am busy preparing my family and home for the uncertainties that lie ahead, I am struck by the similarities between hurricane prep and back-to-school/ football season prep.
With the August flood of 2016 all too fresh in my mind, I’ll admit that I’m terrified. How could I not be?
I went to bed expecting some rain throughout the night and the following day. Instead I walked into my kitchen in the early morning hours to make a bottle only to step into water that covered my feet. I panicked, woke my husband, packed the necessities, gathered our most precious belongings, and got the heck out of there. I had a baby that was not quite two months old, a seventeen month old, and a fresh c-section scar to boot.
As we drove away from our home, I cried. Surely the postpartum hormones had a lot to do with it, but I truly did not know what we would be coming back to, nor what we would do in the short term.
We weren’t prepared for the events that happened on August 12, 2016, nor what was to come in the following days, weeks, and months.
I promised myself, though, that I would never be that unprepared again.
As we gear up for Hurricane Barry, I do all of the usual things.
I secure the inside: trying to stay current on laundry, caught up on dishes, making sure that a ton of toys are not scattered all over the house.
My husband secures the outside: putting away objects that could fly away, cutting the grass, and putting sandbags in front of the door.
We make sure that we have cash, our electronics are charged, and all important documents are in one place.
We grocery shop, ensuring that we are stocked up on bottled water and nonperishable food items.
We make sure that there is ice in the freezer and batteries in the flashlights.
We do all that we can to prepare, knowing that when the storm finally arrives, all bets are off.
There is no way to know what will happen.
Enter football season.
Again, we are doing all we can to prepare. We all have our positions to play.
Coaches are making sure the boys are in top shape with workouts and 7 on 7’s. Is the field ready? Are uniforms and other gear ordered? There are bus trainings, concussion trainings, and coaches meetings.
Wives are making sure that everything else is in top shape with cleaning, laundry, and dishes. Do we have freezer meals prepared? Are we caught up on bills? There are school supply lists, uniforms to buy, and childcare arrangements to be made.
The calendar and to-do lists are full, and it isn’t even August yet.
Spaghetti models, European models, and the National Hurricane Center all show different tracks, wind speeds, rainfall and flooding predictions. National and local news are showing different pictures as well.
All echo one common theme: prepare for the worst because we have no idea what is going to happen.
Much like this tropical storm has the potential to be a hurricane and bring major flooding, football season has the potential to be a disaster and bring major stress.
After last year’s winning season that could only be described as magical, there is uncertainty. Will those betting against us be proven right? Will our boys step up to be leaders? Will there be injuries? Will something catastrophic happen? Will our home be thrown into chaos? Will I forget to pay the electricity bill?
As we hope and pray for the best in both football season and hurricane season, I can only hope that we have done a good job preparing our hearts and our homes to weather what lies ahead.
In the meantime, I will try to enjoy the calm before the storm and hope that we never lose power on or off the field, whether it’s due to Mother Nature, my forgetfulness, or a lack of preparation.