Rooting for Hurricane Danny

I never paid much attention to hurricanes. In my estimation, if you could see a natural disaster coming several days in advance, how much fanfare did it really deserve? I grew up on a fault line in the San Francisco Bay Area. A natural disaster was something that hit without warning in the middle of the night. It knocked you out of bed and dropped oak beams on your head and cracked open freeways. There were no stern warnings from newscasters, three days beforehand, to board up your house and leave town. Anderson Cooper didn’t fly in and set up a camera crew on your street corner 24 hours before the fact.

So when hurricane season rolled around this past August and the alphabet soup of storms started making the evening news, I barely raised an eyebrow. Until Hurricane Danny, that is. Here was something interesting. You see, I have a 4-year old son named Danny; so it was with amusement that I began tracking its progress. But that wasn’t all I felt. And when my husband cocked an eyebrow at the CNN reports, I knew he felt it too. Pride. Our boy was making headlines.

At that point there was some debate about whether Danny was a tropical storm or a hurricane, but forecasters were warning that he could develop strength and have a devastating effect on the central and northeastern coasts. Suddenly, I had new respect for hurricanes. They became something fearsome and awe-inspiring. You didn’t want to mess with a hurricane. No sir. I liked the idea of my son sharing his name with this behemoth. Think of the street cred it would give him in kindergarten. Who would mess with him, knowing that he had flattened beachfront property, taken lives even? This was great.

As the storm threatened to make landfall, we were openly rooting for Hurricane Danny, my husband and I. Had they sold t-shirts, we would have bought them. So when Danny was downgraded to a tropical depression, we felt deflated. It’s like when you’re at a soccer game and your kid gets the ball and has an opening and oh-my-god-you-just-know-he’s-going-to-nail-it and, shit, he kind of trips over the ball instead. And you say, “That’s okay honey!” And it is okay, because he’s only four. But still.

I realize that some of you reading this may feel that I’m being insensitive. You or someone you love may have lived through a hurricane. You may feel that I’m making light of a serious situation. If that’s the case, feel free to email me and share your indignation. I’ll probably feel guilty for a while (I am, after all, a Cancer). However, I should let you know that while my son is only four now, someday he will be big and strapping. And if you live near a coast, one fine August, when you least expect it, I’m going to send him due east to strike down your righteous ass.

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