Anniversaries, Good and Bad

Our kid turns one year old today. Looking back, the past year has been the fastest of our lives; it all seems like a rapidly moving blur. It’s amazing to see him go from completely helpless to tearing about the house, terrorizing the cats, climbing and descending stairs, and banging rattles on the coffee table top.

We aren’t doing anything particularly special for him today, but he has his second birthday party tomorrow for my wife’s family. Most of them were out of town during his first birthday party a couple of weeks ago with my family, which we had to hold early because my sister is now back at college on the Gulf Coast.

As a result of that, we’re also nervously watching the weather reports this weekend as Hurricane Gustav continues to strengthen and make its way into the Gulf of Mexico. We’re well aware that this is the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and that the region is still nowhere close to recovering. Although she goes to school in Mobile, Alabama, most of my sister’s friends from school are from Louisiana and the New Orleans area.

The school may decide to close down today, but many of the students would most likely be safer there, on a hilltop campus away from the bay that can serve as an evacuation center for the city, than they would be back home. A short drive away, in New Orleans, the city is bracing for another potential direct hit and hoping the federally maintained and only partially repaired levees can withstand a major storm. If they fail again, will New Orleans, one of the most culturally significant cities in the world, let alone the country, even be able to survive?

It’s pathetic and sad that after three years all we can do is keep our fingers crossed.

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