Milling about with other parents and friends during our two parent orientations tonight, we had several conversations with people who mentioned an inability to sleep with the looming uncertainty of the storm (possibly? probably?) headed our way. One friend put it best: “I remember what we lost three years ago and I can’t sleep thinking that I might lose it again.”

He didn’t mean stuff.

The threat of the storm has our household on edge. It’s not about stuff, either. For us, it’s not even about loss of employment, since Paul’s job can technically go anywhere. But the fear of uncertainty for community, friends, neighbors (even those anonymous yet familiar faces you see each day in the streets), and for the collective future of the place in which you live — these are also fears that bring insomnia.

It’s not that I am particularly worried about this storm or the damage it will bring. It’s too early for me to feel threatened by that. It’s the uncertainty, the questions, the imaginative ‘what-ifs’ that are based on a nightmare still too real in my memories. This is why New Orleans is acting so early, perhaps so prematurely, to this storm. This is why we are having trouble sleeping.