A couple days after Katrina hit, we had a pretty big Monsoon here. (Actually, it didn’t seem overly large to me, but it made national news, and in the wake of Katrina it had to be big news to make national news…maybe everyone was just going a little crazy over weather stories…who knows?) Anyway, when our little monsoon hit, we happened to be driving home from violin lessons. At first it was just a little windy, and then the sky quickly became overcast and the wind picked up strength. Then the rain started to pelt down. I really hate being caught on the road when a monsoon hits…apparently the girls didn’t like it too well either. My oldest was noticing that some of the cars were having a hard time driving straight, including us. She also noticed that it was really hard to see with all of the dust and the rain. She kept saying “Oh no…we’re gonna get died…we’re gonna get died.” I assured her that we weren’t going to die, but that even though it was a little scary, we would make it home just fine. I had her say a prayer while we were driving. The scariest part for both of my girls was once we got home and we had to run into the house. Just that few feet that we ran screaming from the carport to the front door drenched us all pretty good!
I took the opportunity to talk to my oldest daughter (5 years old) a little more about the hurricane. I felt like the monsoon was a good thing to relate Katrina to for her. Since she was so frightened by our weather, I explained to her more fully than I had done before about the damage that the hurricane had done in New Orleans and in Mississippi. She listened intently, then watched the news with me again.
She has since diligently tried to remember the hurricane victims in her prayers…she says “bless the “hunicane” people that they can get new houses.” I am proud of her.
And that brings me to the point of this whole blog: Today. Today she came home from school so excited to bring money tomorrow to “feed the pig” for the “hunicane” people. The note she brought home said they were having a fund raiser to donate to the Red Cross.
Before I had another chance to talk to her about it, the phone rang and I left her alone for a second. Right as I finished up my phone call I heard a loud crash and the sound of glass breaking. I came out of the den to see my crystal candy dish in smithereens and loose change everywhere. My daughter was immediately upset, as she understands that breaking the crystal is not a good thing. Remarkably, I stayed totally calm and I didn’t even feel the need to raise my voice or be impatient. Part of it was because I knew how excited she had been to bring money to school for the Katrina victims. I talked to her about the rule of getting into that dish (I also know it is probably not the smartest place to store loose change…but hey, I rarely have candy sitting around) and the consequences of her disobedience. She told me it was okay…we can just get another one. I told her I got it for my wedding and it was special, and I didn’t think I could get another one so easily. I had to snicker at her reply, “It’s okay Mommy…when you get married again, you can get another bowl!” And then, when I told her that I didn’t think I was going to get married again because I wanted to stay married to Daddy she really lost it…“Am I in trouble??” she wailed.
In the end, she learned that she is far more important to me than a silly candy dish. And I remembered that the hurricane’s devastation took far more from people than their silly candy dishes….not only did it take their heirlooms, it also took their cars, their homes, and in some cases even their lives and the lives of those they loved. I can certainly sacrifice a piece of not-quite-heirloom-status crystal to the cause of teaching my child to help others in their needs.
And that is my piece on Katrina.