Many of us are still picking up the pieces from Hurricane Sandy, and will be for some time to come.  But as things begin to return to a semblance of normalcy (and with the kids, thankfully, back at school!), I’ve had a few quiet moments to reflect back on the storm and its aftermath.  Here are a couple of things I learned:

  1. As long as you look calm and sound calm, even with 90 plus miles an hour winds howling outside and trees snapping like twigs, your kids will think you are calm and they will remain calm.
  2. It’s sort of fun piling into one bedroom and having a family sleepover, until you learn how restless your 7 year sleeps and you wake up with black and blue marks from being kicked all night.
  3. With all the lights out, you realize how bright the moon actually is.
  4. And with the heat out, you realize how cold the toilet seat can be.
  5. It’s kind of fun watching your children go through screen-withdrawal and then prolonging the misery by telling them that even when the power comes on, you’re seriously considering not reconnecting the cable.
  6. War is an endless card game, especially by candlelight.
  7. Responding to, "Good Night, Mom" by shouting "Good Night John Boy" down the darkened hallways is met with a collective confused 'Huh?'.
  8. A cold, dark house plus hot cocoa with marshmallows and a warm fire equals welcome family together time.
  9. Listening to your child relate her feelings to the blackout to how the victims of war must feel reminds you that even tragedies and disasters can be valuable teaching moments – and often the best lessons come from our children who are sometimes more insightful and more optimistic than we are.
  10.  And even in the worst tragedy and disaster, it is true there is always a silver lining – and watching the outpouring of help from friends and strangers alike throughout our area to help victims of Sandy is the best lesson we can teach our children.

By Jenny Tananbaum.  Jenny Tananbaum is a writer, wife and mom to three.