Mamas, we are all fine. Happily, we never even lost power. It was a crazy night – I could actually see transformers blowing when I looked out of our window, and watched an entire block of our neighbors' houses suddenly go dark.
If you've been following us on Instagram (@shanachristine), you may have seen the picture I took of Raines and I. Raines, who will be five in Jan, was intensely curious about the storm. So we ventured out, just to get an idea of the winds. It was simultaneously awe inspiring and terrifying to experience Sandy…and we hardly bore the brunt of it!
Raines, who is fazed by *almost* nothing was actually pretty nervous that night. I mean – we did all sleep together on the first floor, so he knew something was up. And even at four, he can certainly pick up on bits of the news…which frankly, in the days that followed, was heartbreaking. In hindsight, perhaps we should've shielded him a bit more…but I'm also a firm believer in being honest with my kids. (My own imagination tends to get the best of me….and is almost always worse than reality.) Any child psychologists out there who want to weigh in?
In any case, we were one of the lucky ones. Despite our nervousness, our time with Sandy passed as quality family time. As a bonus, we were finally able to read all of our library books, which – oh crap!! Are now overdue. (Am I the only one who brings home 45 books?)
Anyway, in some weird cosmic coincidence, two of the books we had sitting at home were about Hurricanes (WHA???). And these books have actually been really great, allowing Raines to hear about hurricanes from another perspective, talk about what it could have been like, and generally process the event. (Again, child psychologists, feel free to weigh-in here.)
Anyway, I thought I'd share, for those of you who might be dealing with a similar situation.
Hurricane! by Jonathan London
This book is (I believe) based on an experience the author had as a kid. He and his family are living in Puerto Rico, and a hurricane comes. They pack up quickly, spend a night in the shelter, and return home to pick up the debris. Happily their house is still standing, and the book ends the way it begins: with the two brothers running happily back into the ocean.
The illustrations are beautiful, and the night in the shelter is pretty touching. But I think Raines really likes the whole 'life goes on' aspect as the book comes full circle. Also, the book is a fast read – the author doesn't dwell, which keeps the suspense down (at an appropriate level) for young kids.
100 School Days
by Anne Rockwell
This is an awesome book for helping kids (4 and up) understand quantity. Each day, one of the kids in the class get to put a penny in a jar. Whenever the jar hits a multiple of 10 (10,20,30, etc) that kid brings in something to correspond (10 matchbox cars, 40 baseball cards, 70 sunflowers, etc.) Randomly, at the end of this book, once the class has collected 100 pennies, they decide to donate their pennies to help victims from a recent hurricane rebuild. It was a perfect segue into talking about the hurricane, what now needs to be done, and how we all can help.
Crazy coincidence, no?
Anyway, Mamas…I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy and happy in the aftermath of Sandy.
ps. We'll be back to a regular posting schedule next week. Thanks for your patience!!