Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Why? Well, today was the Tolt Dam Evacuation Drill, and I walked with Eli's class. See, somewhere behind Duvall is a dam and if we have an earthquake, and that dam breaks.... Bye Bye Tolt River Valley. And we live in Tolt River Valley. The school has 30 to 45 minutes to make it to higher ground, with about 3/4 of a mile to the base of the hill and 1/4 to maybe 1/2 of a mile up and over the hill. And then back when it's safe. Since we live in the valley and Matt and I are home during the day, and this evacuation trail isn't just for the school, I figured it would be good if I knew where to go in case there was a need for us.

Did you know that 2nd graders really are full of unstoppable energy? I promise you, the first part of the evacuation trail, from the school to the base of the hill, they were skipping all the way. And then came the hill. No more skipping, but we still went pretty fast. I'm sure my face was beat red and I know you couldn't understand half of what I was gasping out between breaths. But just like my bike ride yesterday, I knew I couldn't stop. And I didn't. I was even able to walk from our check-in spot to where Sissy's class was, back to Eli's class, and then to the port-a-potties and back... twice.

Then it was time to go back. No, going down hill is not easier than going up because second graders don't know that running down the hill in the gravel isn't safe. (We had 4 slips and one kersplat.) At the bottom of the hill, there were busses. The school district wanted to see if they could make this annual drill a little easier on the kids. You should have heard the poor kindergardeners behind us. They cheered at the sight of those busses. But then after all the middle schoolers were taken, the school district decided it wasn't a good idea after all, and onward we went, walking the rest of the way back. The kindergardeners moaned, and I do believe tried to stage a sit down protest. And at this point, I would have given almost anything to sit down with them. But I went on. If my kids could do it, so could I!!!

About 1/2 a mile from the school, one of the little boys in my class lost a show. So we pulled out of line and unknotted that quadruple knot, and fixed it. By this time, the class was quite a ways a way and still going strong. Nash, the little boy, was so sad that we were behind and not with his friends that we picked up the pace and boogied our way back... finally catching up less than a 1/4 from the school. My job as class follower was to stick with any medical emergencies and deal with any lost shoes. And as class follower, I had been walking with Mrs McGinnis (Eli's kindergardener teacher for the last 3 weeks of school the first year we lived here) since her class was following us, who were all amazed when we popped up and got back in line, telling me they expected us to catch up at the classroom. If there is anyone amazed at the fact that I ran at least 1/4 of a mile after all that I had already done, it's most definitely me. And when we finally reached the classroom, and I went to retrieve my purse from Eli's bag, all the boys at his table high fived me, told me thanks and said "You did good Mrs Eli's Super Mommy!" 

It doesn't get any better than that!

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