Childrearing

I’m Lucky That I Can Bitch About Being Stuck Inside With My Kids After Hurricane Sandy

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hurricane sandy

I am lucky. I want to start off by saying that because it is pretty much what I’ve been trying to teach my kids over the last few days. That we are lucky. This is a lesson that I try to impart to them all the time anyway, but it is also a lesson that tends to fall by the wayside, as we—like most people—take our luck for granted unless it goes away.

Here are the things that I have felt lucky for since Hurricane Sandy struck the city we live in just a few days ago:

  • I am lucky for a roof over my head.
  • I am lucky for having easy access to hot, clean water.
  • I am lucky that my lights never even flickered.
  • I am lucky that my cable and Internet never went out so that I could stay up-to-date about what was happening.
  • I am lucky that no trees or branches fell on me when I walked my dog in the winds of the storm.
  • I am lucky that we have food to eat.
  • I am lucky that I can work from home so that I don’t have to worry about loss of income or the security of my job.

It is most definitely in times of disaster, when the dividing line between you and someone who loses everything can be as arbitrary as what side of the street you live on, that it is important to take account of all of the amazing things you have. And to feel obligated to help out those who are less fortunate. So, yes, I wanted to start off by saying that, because it is all true.

Also true, though? I have been going crazy working at home every day with both of my kids underfoot. NYC schools have been cancelled for the entire week and for at least two of the days it was too dangerous to go outside with them. So now, I’m going a little bit (totally) crazy. Which is ironic, because one of the things that I like most about my job is its flexibility and the fact that, while it is a good idea for me to go to the office, I always have the option of working from home when necessary. But I guess working from home takes on a whole new meaning when home is not empty. When, instead, home is two energetic boys who are going a little bit stir crazy themselves.

The other part of the equation is that, for me, working from home really entails working. I’m not just checking my email once every couple of hours while taking long baths or playing board games with my kids or baking bread or all of the things that I wish I were doing. No, I’m actually working. Sitting at my computer and staying in touch with all of my other coworkers who are holed up in their apartments because there’s no public transportation in New York. Our office is also in a neighborhood that had waist-high flood waters lapping at the building’s facade.

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