My neighbor from across the road came over this afternoon with her five year old daughter. She handed me a card and homemade mint scrub. As a thank you for pulling bins up her driveway while they were on vacation. No, really.
I was in the middle of a hurricane and planning of damage control:
- What health and safety guidelines should I follow? Proceed with caution so as not to trip over the toys.
- How do I clean my damaged home or repair and rebuild it safely for the future? If I knew I would start cleaning it.
- What precautions should I take when returning home? Tell Husband the house burned down and buy a new one.
- Where can I get assistance? Think only an enthusiastic mother-in-law would be willing to tackle this one.
- How do I cope with the emotional effects of a disaster? Chocolate and alcohol. And denial.
- How can I help children cope with the emotional effects of a disaster? I think the child is fine, he was the hurricane.
- How can I help someone affected by a disaster? Share my chocolate and alcohol?!
Anyway, she gave me a gift, so I had no choice but to ask her in. I ushered her through the kitchen, the long way around to the back deck, in hope she is blinded by the sun enough not to see the full extend of our mess. At this point I would also like to add I did in fact straighten the house out before we left for the beach this morning. In the afternoon, while gardening ( pulling weeds really) Little J got bored and went to play inside. Ten minutes later I came in and cried.
As I was saying, off we went to the back deck. Kids started playing. Pulling more stuff out. Onto the back deck, then in the living room. Then they moved upstairs. It was for the best really, because my neighbor should in fact feel guilty for her child adding to the disaster.
It was a perfect afternoon. Good company, occupied kids and Husband mowing to show off a bit.
Then I heard the kids coming downstairs. Apparently they knocked down the tent in Little J’s room and needed help.
My son was telling his guest: “I will ask my Mommy to do it. My Daddy is old, he cannot.”
The day got even better…
Credits: Questions on how to cope after Hurricane are by FEMA.
PS Husband is only a few years older then me.