Fear is a gust of wind the rattles my bones. Fear is a gray cloud that stops the quickens my heart. Fear is a click, creak and groan of a settling house. It’s an unexpected flash of light. Fear is a ghost that haunts me day and night. I am forever at the ready for the fear to be realized.
During the day I watch the sky and judge the wind. I check weather.com like it’s the next Twitter. I look for reasons to leave the house. I don’t want to be here. Something bad might happen. Something I can’t protect my family against.
At night I stay up late, whether I am tired or not. I’m on the computer with The Weather Channel map open at all times. I peek out windows and check and recheck the locks. I make sure my keys and sneakers are readily available. I check for the dial tone. I go over in head how to load and hold the shotgun. Then I remember that if I ever had to shoot it, My kids would probably be in the line of fire. So I keep the phone in my pocket and wish I had a baseball bat.
When I finally go to bed, I lie there and think. In between lock and weather check, that is. I wonder, is tonight the night we get another tornado? Is this the night some one is going to break in? Or is this place just going to go up in flames. If so, we’re all screwed.
We’re so far from help, calling wouldn’t matter. It would be over before they got halfway here. So I am always waiting to be called into action. I fear that moment when I have to stop being mom and be the hero.
And I want it to stop.
I can’t live this way. My family shouldn’t have to put up with Edgy Mommy. Or Exhausted Mommy. It’s not fair to any of us.
So I’ve been looking for a new place to live. Tom has a new, better paying job so we can afford more. But it still is not enough. Rent prices have skyrocketed since the high volume gas well fracking has moved into the area. And once again, we are priced out of the market. The safe ones anyway.
That hasn’t stopped me. Everyday, several times a day, I have been scouring Craigslist and the local newspapers online for something that will work. I’ve even had Tom applying for mortgages while I talk to real estate agents. And for the past 3 months nothing has panned out. We are wither too late, they won’t take the cat ( that Tom won’t part with) or they want 1st, last and 2 months security. That can total over 4 grand.
Today I found a 3 bedroom duplex in a nice area that is going to be available in September. It’s in a great school district and they accept cats. It’s a situation that would alleviate my fears to some degree. It’s in a more populated area, mere minutes from the state troopers and a fire department. The neighborhood (all owned by the same company) look well maintained. And it has a BASEMENT. It’s like Manna from Heaven. Just one, not so small catch. The rent is more than half of Tom’s paycheck and it would take more than $2k to move in.
If we paid nothing but food gas and insurance, we could get it done in about a month. Maybe a month and a half.
But to what end.
Sure, it has just about everything we want. It’s safe (looking), clean, cared for and convenient. I wouldn’t burst into tears and speed my kids up to my moms at the first clap of thunder and wind gust of 10 MPH. I wouldn’t spend the night wondering if I should sleep in the hall outside my kids door, just in case.
I would, however, spend my night wondering how we were going to pay the heat, electric, insurance and food bills. And what about when the kids out grow the clothes and shoes they have. I can’t even fathom Christmas and Birthdays.
Oh, wait. I can.
I just stopped doing that shit a couple months ago. I don’t want to go back.
We can afford to pay our bills and live just a little now. It hurts my heart to think of going back to barely scraping by and counting pennies. Going nowhere and not buying things we need just so we can have a roof over our heads and all the very basics that go with it.
But then again, it hurts my heart to be terrified of my home. It hurts even more when Kieran wants to get in the truck and leave at the first raindrop. It takes everything I have to soothe him and tell him it’s okay when in reality, I want to get in the truck too.
So I’m left with this question-
How much a month is my sense of security worth? How much is my kids sense of security worth?