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Like Sardines In A Storm

Last night, I awoke to the sound of rain pounding the sides of the house, thunder pealing, and hail nicking the windows. The storm seemed to be escalating itself into a frenzy.

One of the boys wandered into our room -- Titus, I think? -- and Julie asked whether I thought we should bring the other children downstairs. I hemmed and hawed. I couldn't totally gather my thoughts, it being about 1 a.m., and I didn't think the storm seemed particularly out of the ordinary.

Eventually, Julie and I marched upstairs. She gathered the remaining boys, all of whom rolled into our bed a la this scene from "If A Body Meets A Body," one of the greatest Three Stooges episodes of all time:

I gathered Phoebe, who enjoyed some late-night snuggles with her mommy as her brothers tossed and turned and I admired it all from the foot of the bed.

Like sardines in a storm, our boys packed tightly together and survived until things had died down.

Then, we marched everyone back up the stairs without so much as a squabble. By 1:30, we had successfully returned everyone to bed and returned to our room to enjoy a few quiet hours of peaceful rest.

The coffee tasted particularly good this morning. The yard looked like a mess with trees split open to reveal gaping and irregular shards of bark.

But we survived. And the memories will last us at least until we chainsaw apart the fallen limbs and toss them into the stove this winter.

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