This morning I laid in bed, half asleep, my boy in my arms and my husband asleep next to me. Our daughter was asleep in the next room and the building began to shake. It was loud and strong. I pulled my son closer to me and he squirmed in fear, then seem to fall back a sleep. I yelled to my husband, "Go get her" and he leaped from the bed, grabbed her and put her in ours. I was scared and my body was still shaking long after the shaking had stopped. I held him on my left and he held her on my right. My son was still and his breathing on my chest was such a comfort to me. My daughter reached her hand out and we all lay connected together. I began to calm down.
This was my first big earthquake. It turned out that we were right near the epicenter. It prompted many questions from our daughter. She said she was awaken by the noise and then looked at her mirrored closet and wondered why they were shaking. It was such a strange experience for all of us, that I would describe as surreal, except it wasn't: it was very real. The ground literally shaking from under you makes you realize how very vulnerable we are. On the same day on the other sides of the world Chile experienced a quake much bigger and much more damaging. It was kind of unbelievable that here in California ,we shook for a bit and in our house some picture frames fell, a vase with flowers, and the water from the fish bowl spilled. We cleaned it up and went about our day. It could have been so much worse. I felt so grateful to resume normalcy, but not without recognizing that we were all very lucky.
For a good half hour, the four of us stayed huddled in bed together. I thought about people in far away lands who sleep in a family style bed. This was the first time I ever envied them. If another quake happened we wouldn't be separate. As we lay together my son eventually opened his eyes. After a minute he heard his sister near him and popped his head up. It didn't matter what kind of mayhem came earlier, he was so thrilled to see her. I lifted him into the middle so they were next to each other and they began to cuddle and giggle. The morning started in a way that I hope doesn't happen again anytime soon, but the way it ended was such a strong reminder of what I have to hold on to. So precious is my family to me. I hope it doesn't take another earthquake to share such a wonderful start of the day like today.