Max and Miles who, to Me, Will Always be Secretly Named "Gus"

The blog about Max and his little brother, Miles. Stunningly cute boys and future leaders of the rebel forces.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Memmorrrieeeess, Light The Corne. . . . . . Oh, Snap! TORNADO!!!

Since August 19th, if you -- stranger or not-stranger -- met, talked to, or looked at Max for a second too long he'd drop this little tid-bit on you:

"So, the wind came up! And leaves were shaking! And the tornado was really windy! and it spins around and around! And all the trees on ParkPortland came falling down! . . . and it was really windy."

Now, if you're a polite person, and you want to humor the small person or if you still had your wits about you, enough, say, to respond at all, you'd muster up a faux (or possibly not) amazed/interested, "Oh, really?"

Like a lion sensing weakness in his prey, Max would pounce on this opening and blister you with a series of lefts and rights: "Yeah! Then, the trees all came down, all over, 'cause the winds of the tornado blew rrreally strongly and it was really rainy that day when it all got blown down. All the trees came down. Mmm-mm."

I usually keep a bottle of OTC vertigo medication at the ready for times like these. I hand the victim the pill and a glass of water, place a reassuring hand on their shoulder and calmly repeat, "It'll pass, it'll pass." until they get their color back.

The non-head spin version of the story is that, one pretty rainy day in August, Katie left for work. Not long after she left, I looked out the window and thought, "Hm, now it's kinda windy, too." As it turned out, about six blocks away, Katie sat in her car at an intersection, when, all around her, the trees did, in fact, begin to come down: the tornado went right over her.

Our immediate neighborhood was untouched but several streets near us were devastated. Every day, we would drive past the huge, downed trees and the damaged houses. Every day, we would have to explain to Max what had happened. Every day, the image in his head of what had happened grew into even larger mythic proportions.

Even now, I'd wager heavy money that were he to bump into a real-life Bob the Builder or discover some magical talking backhoe, without missing a beat, he'd launch right into his tornado story. They'd hang onto the narrative until, seeing no end to the tale of destruction, the talking backhoe would go find some kid who just wanted to talk about bunnies.


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