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“When We Move To the Country Will a Tornado Come + Take Our House?”
Child learns any tornadoes and other downsides of country homes
Among the many science videos that Kina and I have been watching in the morning have been a few storm chaser videos, which has given me the opportunity to talk to Kina about two things: tornadoes and “the country”. As somebody who spent a few years among the tornadoes and sort of in “the country”, I know a fair bit about them, and I’m quite happy to spend the rest of my life away from both. If you’ve had to hide in a closet during a proper tornado in Oklahoma, you’d likely agree.
There was something so matter-of-fact about the way that Kina asked if a tornado would take our house away, as thought it were not the kind of thing that would really ruin your day. Can I have the house back, Mr. Tornado? Drat. Really liked that house. I wonder when kids develop the sense of connection to their homes that gives us all the willies when we contemplate natural disaster. If you’ve always had the same home, do you only experience that anxiety when it’s taken from you?
There have been times when Kina has expressed her dissatisfaction with our current home, but she’s never proposed an alternative. Philly? Kingston? Oakland? She wants to move because her friend Sloane moved, but Sloane moved ten blocks north of her old house, and so maybe that’s what Kina thinks moving is. A country house might as well be a fairy tree, in her worldview; who’d live in the middle of a field? At some point, we’ll likely uproot from our current apartment, and I’d venture the destination is likely to look more like the ten blocks situation than the ten acres situation. Leave the tornadoes alone, I say, and let the greatest threat to my house be late-stage capitalism, just like everybody else.