The tornado ruined 55% of my birthday

I am beyond excited to have my first guest blogger today.  He is a red-headed dynamite, known for his intelligence, slightly inappropriate sense of humor, and fascination with almost everything (except Math — we’re working on Math).  My guest blogger frequently plays a central role in this blog as he’s my David, first-born, light of my life, love of my heart, and getting sent to bed early because he’s currently driving me crazy.  Today I had David’s parent-teacher conference (more about that later, I assure you).  David’s teacher (angel on earth, currently my most favorite teacher of all time) had the kids write about their summer experiences.  David wrote about the tornado.  To read about this night from David’s perspective took my breath away.  He saw more, was aware of more, and remembers more than I imagined.  Here’s David’s summer, in his words …

David’s Exciting Summer

       This summer was fun, exciting, and unusual.  It was like an action movie with villains that want to throw you in lava.  Except my villain was a tornado! 

First, on my birthday, me and my friends went to watch Pirates of the Caribbean at the movies.  It was fun until about half way through the movie, the movie shut off.  We went into the hall to see what was going on.  The lights were flickering.  We found out there was a scary tornado that hit Joplin.

       By the time we got out of the movie the tornado had moved out of our area.  We hopped in the car and started driving.  We couldn’t communicate by calling or texting.  The only way to communicate was by Facebook.  We were really worried about my dad and sisters at my house.  I was glad the tornado was over.  It ruined 55 percent of my birthday.  I was thinking “Why me?  Why my birthday?”

       As we drove, we saw a lot of people walking with their families.  We knew their car wasn’t running so, they had been hit by the twister too.  We heard sirens of all kinds.  There were ambulances, fire trucks, police everywhere.  We heard a little girl crying and saw one woman who was badly hurt.  Her leg looked really bad; it was bleeding.  I didn’t mention it to my mom because it would make her more upset.  It would remind her of my sisters and dad and how they were doing since we couldn’t reach them.

       I could hear and feel the wind blowing.  There were so many houses that were wrecked.  The roads were blocked.  We were trying to take my friend’s home so their parents wouldn’t be worried, but no luck.  We zig zagged all over town.  It took an hour to get to our house (it usually takes twenty minutes). 

       We finally parked by our neighborhood because we couldn’t get in.  I was surprised by all the houses that were destroyed.  It used to be filled, now it was a lot of nothing.  One house was completely flattened.  Another, there was nothing left but bricks and the porch stairs.  By this time, we had contacted my dad and knew they were okay through Facebook, but we still wanted to see them.  As we were walking, I felt scared and frightened.  There were only three houses that were standing.  They were damaged but could be fixed.  I was worried that the town would be wiped out and people weren’t going to make it.  I knew it would be hard for people to get into Joplin to come help because of all the rubble. 

       When we got to our house, we were relieved that our house was still standing, but it was badly damaged.  My dad and sisters were safe!  Our roof was cracked open.  There was a huge piece of wood that was stuck right through our front wall in the living room.  It caused our house to wobble.  There was glass everywhere; on my bed and floor.  My video game systems were totally wrecked.  My geckos didn’t survive the tornado.  My dogs were okay!  They were safe in their kennel.  They had bits of glass stuck in their fur.  They smelled like wet dog.  It took forever to pull them all out.  We all piled into the car; my mom, dad, two sisters, two friends, two dogs, and I.  We had to drop the dogs off at the kennel and head to our house.  

       Before we could go to the hotel, we had to drop the dogs off at “The Kennel.”  It is a dog sitting place that would take care of them while we were at the hotel.  By the time we got to the hotel, it was dark.  There was still no power.  Because the doors were electronic, we couldn’t close the doors or it would lock us in.  My parents were going to stay there, but for us kids, it was a waiting place.  We communicated through Facebook with my friends’ parents to meet us there after they took care of their homes, because my friends’ homes were damaged.  My mom Facebooked my grandma in Blue Springs, Missouri (3 hours away) to come pick me and my sisters up.  There was no electricity, so we played pranks on my sisters and told scary stories. 

Eventually, my friends’ parents came to pick them up.  They were glad to see them.  I bet that’s the last time my friends’ parents let them come to one of my birthday parties.  It turned out okay because we were safe and we got to go stay with my grandparents.

17 thoughts on “The tornado ruined 55% of my birthday

  1. What an amazing, well-written perspective on the tornado–please thank David for sharing it with us. And I don’t know why you think there are issues with math, if he was able to come up with 55% all by himself. 🙂

  2. Fabulous! Move over Amy–this young man needs his own blog. My favorite line was “I bet that’s the last time my friends’ parents let them come to one of my birthday parties.” Maybe he’ll let you guest blog once in a while 🙂

  3. David did a great job telling of his tornado experience. Thanks for sharing it with us. How are things coming along in Joplin, Amy? I like your fall banner, pumpkins and punkins. 🙂

  4. David, this is an amazing description of all you went through this summer. Thank you for being able to put it into words and share it with us all. I’m sorry to hear about your geckos and I’m sure that your friends’ parents will let you all get together another time, the tornado was just chance. I’m glad though that you got some of your special day before the tornado and you got a trip to your grandparents out of it. 🙂

  5. David – You told the story of your birthday very well. I cannot imagine if I had been watching a movie and then found out a tornado had hit my town. I was riding in the car with you as your rode.

    Don’t ever be afraid to tell your mother about things you see or hear. She is really cool woman (I know it’s hard to believe, because she makes you do homework, pick up toys, and brush your teeth) and while she would love to protect you from everything, she’d rather you be open and honest and share things with her.

    Moms are the best for helping you even when things are scary. Especially when things are scary.

    I’m sorry about the geckos and the video games, but so happy your dad, sisters, dogs, and most of your house made it.

    Who knew facebook would the be only form of communication? I had no idea.

    I bet you had a ton of fun at your grandparents too!

  6. I am an Instructional Coach for an elementary school in Kentucky. The new common core standards for 5th grade include analyzing multiple accounts of the same event. I have been searching for a first-hand account written by a student that the students would be able to read and compare to an article from a different perspective. David’s blog will be very useful for this. Thank you, David, for providing an opportunity for our students to be able to learn this very important skill of differences in point of view.

  7. “I bet that’s the last time my friends’ parents let them come to one of my birthday parties.”

    That is an awesome line! I hope that for kids who rode out the storm, like David, the tornado becomes a funny memory, a story they can laugh about as they get older. Let the older folks know too much about everything else. What a wonderful piece — gosh Amy, it seems publishable!

    David, you are one resilient little person. And if you don’t know what that means, Google it.

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