Friday, 30 September 2011

The Kids are All Right...

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premonitions of being called to the school guidance counselor's office to be solemnly told that my children were withdrawn, depressed and refusing to speak.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.....

17 comments:

Expat mum said...

I htink with really little kids, they don't actually know what's normal and what's not, so when fairly traumatic things happen to them, they think it's part of life. Quite a good philosophy to have really.
Have a great trip and keep clear of trees. Just kidding!

Nota Bene said...

Sweet, very sweet that last question from the boys. I'm a great believer, learnt from experience, that the young people take disasters in their stride...after all, they're still learning about everything, so this is just one more experience to add to the list.

Metropolitan Mum said...

Have a nice break. I am sure your house will be fine this time :)

Knackered Mother said...

Yes, little ones are far better at taking these things on the chin than we are...mind still boggling at thought of a bouncy castle in the sitting room!

About Last Weekend said...

Great to hear they're taking it well. Yes, kids are so much more resilient than we think aren't they? Yes, still having visions of bouncy castle in living room. B-day parties are veritable carnivals here but never hear of that!

Home Office Mum said...

When our house was flooded, the kids seemed to get on fine too, but had similar odd moments here and there where I realised it had affected them. But now several years on they don't really remember it at all. I on the other hand, start moving things to higher ground every time the heavens open.

Have a nice time away

Iota said...

I think that's really funny, that LB1 has it so deeply ingrained that you mustn't spoil the house or you'll have to pay the landlady.

Circles in the Sand said...

Very glad to hear LB1 & LB2 have taken it all in their stride. Kids are just amazing, if only it was as easy for us! Interesting, tho, as you say, how it comes out in unexpected ways - Loved the comment about having to pay your old landlady! I'm going to start telling my boys that! When we moved about 4 times during our first year in Dubai, max took it really well, tho every now and then, he still talks about 'when we move on to our next house'. At the moment all he can talk about is how he wants to move to England - of course, he only knows England in summer! Hope you had a great weekend in Cape Cod xx

expatmammy said...

Kids are amazing aren't they? They just take life in their stride and let us mammies do all the worrying.x Enjoy your break.x

Tanya (Bump2Basics) said...

I think as adults we could learn a lot by observing the resilience of kids - even though we lack the innocence. Hope you had a fab long weekend.

nappy valley girl said...

Expat Mum - I'm sure you're right. They just get on with it.

NB - I think the same is still probably true of adults - the more you've been through, the more you can take in some ways.

MM - it was!

KM - yes - my children thought Christmas had come early though...

ALW - and it wasn't even a party, it just lives there!

HOM - I know the feeling. Our new house is in a potential flood area too....

Iota - I know, and the ironic thing is, all the times I told him off for damaging paintwork etc, and it doesn't matter now because the house will probably be pulled down or rebuilt anyway!

Circles - he always ignored that warning about the landlady (who was actually really sweet and always brought the boys presents when she came over), but at least now I know he was actually listening....

Expatmammy - thanks for visiting - yes, the mums are the ones who take on all the worry, but that's OK!

Tanya - we did thanks, more to come on that one.

Kerri @ Baby Monitors Online said...

I'm glad your kids are taking the whole situation really well. Enjoy your little break :)

Michelloui | The American Resident said...

I sometimes wonder at how I could regain my childhood bravery and resilience then I think, 'just try to be more like my children.'

I felt for you when I read the last line, I know how that lingering worry feels. But in time, you'll see, it will all be ok again!

Enjoy your break.

Muddling Along said...

Will keep all fingers and toes crossed that nothing else catastophic happens (and be kind to yourself it is natural to worry)

Have a lovely time x

A Confused Take That Fan said...

Another reason why kids are so wonderful. They act out their thoughts (with the bouncy castle) and ask completely reasonable honest questions, like, will it happen again when we go away? Kids are ace.

angelsandurchinsblog said...

Sounds as though you're doing a pretty good job of getting on with it too. Well done, not sure I'd be nearly as calm.

Babies who brunch said...

wow, i had no idea. so sorry. i've been v out of the loop (having a baby)....