By Eliska Counce, TSB Columnist
So the big news of the week involved partisan politics, cupped crown jewels and nasty weather. As my sainted Southern grandmother always said, however, you don’t talk about sex, politics, or religion in polite company, so I’ll skip my political rant. Plus, talking politics angries up my blood. But Hurricane Issac’s stormy debut and Prince Harry dropping trou in Vegas made for some pretty good media since we’ve chatted last.
It was hurricane madness this week. Isaac. And not the fun Isaac of Love Boat fame, either. Of course, Hurricane Issac’s arrival on the exact date of the anniversary of that bitch Katrina seven years ago made for some flashbacks for those of us from the Gulf Shore states. Excuse the language, but it fits Katrina. She destroyed a third of my home state, Mississippi, and drowned New Orleans. She brought out some of the worst in human nature, too, in her immediate aftermath.
I myself have PTSD from the Katrina era. Isaac’s slow stomp up her path this week also reminded me of where I was when the Big Storm came in. And now I’m not talking about Katrina. I’m talking about Hurricane Jonah, my second born. Bless his tee-niney little heart. He was born on the 8th of August, and three weeks later, when Katrina hit? He was leveling my house with the sheer force of his colicky rage.
He was born angry, poor little guy. Furious and howling and vomiting. As my first child was what is frequently referred to in parenting books as an Angel Child, it was like the levees breaking in the ninth ward at Chez Counce by the time he was three weeks old. He developed bleeding sores on his little body as if to manifest physically how mad he was. Nothing would calm him. Rocking him only increased his wrath. When the pediatrician blithely told me, “Oh, he’s just getting used to being on the outside,” I wanted to throat punch the man.
Hurricanes can flatten everything, start you at ground zero, much like my experience with my second newborn. He challenged everything I smugly thought I had mastered about child care. And poor Prince Harry of England had his own tsunami this week, no? The party prince hit Vegas with a vengeance, and now both he and I am unfortunate enough to know what his royal bum looks like. I personally thought Harry’s naked romp was kind of hilarious. I mean, if he’s got something I haven’t seen before, I’ll throw my hat at it, right? He’s a twenty-seven year old, handsome, rich rake of a royal, sowing some wild oats. So what?
But the queen was not amused. I heard Wills was pretty stern about it too. I bet Kate laughed until she cried, but I digress. They’re not so merry about Harry over in ye old England. I’m sure this has been a bit of a hurricane for old Harry, too. Life is different after you’ve wagged your privates on TMZ, methinks. Things won’t be the same for Harry in the future. He will be forever altered, much like the Gulf Coast, much as I was with my inconsolable second-born.
So hurricanes and Harry have me thinking this week about the personal tsunamis that effect us all. Sweeping, life-changing events we either plan or don’t plan for. Events that change all the rules, force us to change. And usually the most transformative tsunamis come in the form of what can seem like terrible hardship, whether that’s being barfed all over by a newborn who hates you in the middle of the night…or the kind of atrocities suffered during Katrina on the Gulf Coast.
Seven years later, I’m pleased to say the levees are holding in New Orleans. Here, my seven year old son is delightful. Smart, precocious, bright, and thank you baby Jesus, on the whole happy. He’s gonna put me in a great retirement home one day. The emotional scars are fading. The Earth’s axis, despite how I was feeling at the time, did not stop turning. Time progressed. New Orleans is back, and so am I.
And Harry will be back. I can only imagine what kind of emotional hurricane he’s been through. Can you imagine if the paparazzi followed you around during your youthful indiscretions? And thank all that is holy no cell phone cameras existed during my college years. But that’s all I’m admitting to here. Let’s just say the days of dot-matrix printers was a less complicated time.
Yep, hurricanes happen. But as devastating as they can be, you will build again. You will build it better, stronger, and faster than before. Wait. That was also the Six Million Dollar Man. But now I digress and date myself. I have a point, and it is this: hurricanes happen. And after the storm, the very best of human nature was revealed. No matter how painful, in the end your personal hurricanes can only grow you and benefit you. Here’s to swift recoveries and lessons learned.