I'm amazed how resilient children are. You'd think that having been made homeless a week before the start of the school year, moving house away from your much-beloved next door neighbour-friends and being told that half your toys have been destroyed would be pretty traumatic. A few weeks ago, I was having horrible premonitions of being called to the school guidance counselor's office to be solemnly told that my children were withdrawn, depressed and refusing to speak.
But the boys have been amazing. They've moved on far more quickly than I have, rediscovered toys they haven't played with in years (plus several boxes of Playmobil they got for Christmas which we had all forgotten about) and have busily set about arranging their new house to their best advantage. And they talk in a matter of fact way about 'our broken house' and how we are not going back there. People keep asking me how they are coping - I tell them that there has been remarkably little effect on the kids.
There has been the odd 'moment'. For example when we were at a friend's house and the boys were playing with a bouncy castle that they had inflated in their living room (yes, their house really is that big). They were playing a game where they would inflate, then let the air out - at which point, they would shout : "There's a tree on our house!" I'm sure child pyschologists would have a field day with that one. LB1 has also asked me if would have to pay our old landlady for the old house 'because we wrecked it' (clearly after all those times I told him not to damage the house, because we'd have to pay for things).
And this morning, as we're packing for a weekend away (school being cancelled for the Jewish holidays) they solemnly ask me who is going to look after our new house while we're away. "What if our house gets destroyed while we're away? What about all our stuff? Should we take our backpacks and toys?"
I reassured them in a motherly way: "Of course that's not going to happen. That was a hurricane, and we were very unlucky. We're going to come back and all our things will be exactly where we left them."
What I didn't tell them was that I had been worrying, secretly, about the very same thing.....