Welcome back this week, to our TIMA family.
I sincerely hope that everyone managed to get through the storm and the cleanup with the help of friends and neighbors. I’ve had a number of families reach out to me to ask if there is anything we can do for families who were impacted more severely, and I am in contact with our administrators to see what can be done. Please stay tuned!
We all know our community is tiny yet mighty, and there is nothing that can break our spirit. #tybeestrong! That being said, I also hope we have all taken a moment to allow ourselves a deep breath and to process this experience. Even if Irma didn’t hit us with as much as she could have, we have all gone through something significant.
As our family prepared for evacuation, my boys were first excited that there was no school and that we would be visiting cousins in Charlotte. My husband and I fine-tuned our Hurricane Matthew evacuation list (we should really save it in the computer!) and gathered computers, family photos (really need to scan those!) and our vital documents (at least we got the box for that!). Choosing what items in your home are essential is a truly remarkable experience. Growing up in the Midwest, my greatest threat was a tornado touch down—an event one gets little to no warning beforehand. And, if you are unlucky enough to have a tornado strike your home, you have only the opportunity to recover afterward. But hurricanes are much different. You know a hurricane is coming and you can physically prepare, but how do you mentally and emotionally prepare? How do you prepare your children?
We tried to be realistic with our boys, when they asked if our house would still be standing after the storm. We explained that we would keep an eye on the storm’s track and all we could do is hope for the best. We had what was most important to us—each other (and the dog!), and the rest could be replaced. That answer seemed to satisfy them in the moment, but we were unsure whether it helped them process what they were experiencing.
After returning to (thankfully!) no damage, my Kindergartner raced inside to make a card for his best friend a few doors down. It read, “Happy Surviving the Giant Killing Hurricane Irma!” He delivered it with joy and enthusiasm. She returned in kind with a card that read, “Irma wouldn’t go away. Thank you world for saving my house. I would have been dead.” While they hugged and then jumped on bikes to discuss their separate “hurrications,” we chuckled at their stark summation of the weekend followed by their immediate recovery: “High-fives for not dying! Wanna go play now?” And yet, I couldn’t help but wonder if there wasn’t something we could have done to reassure them more. We were so fortunate this time, but I know how easily the result could have been so, so different.
Certainly we have faith for reassurance—faith in each other, faith in our community, spirituality and institutions, faith in our ability to recover, and faith that storms will pass and we will move forward together. I have faith in our little TIMA school community, and that is certainly a reassurance to me. I know if one of our families needs help we are all here to deliver it.
Though it seems a bit surreal, we return to school this week and try to get things back on a normal track. If you or your family is in need of any extra support—a meal, childcare, carpooling, cleaning or home repairs, please reach out if you are comfortable. There are so many people who want to help and try to make the recovery process easier. You can email the CREW at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact me at 202-253-2952.
Thanks for being my community,
Susie Waterstreet Glauner
P.S. How did you all talk to your children about the storm? About the aftermath? Did you find that anything in particular gave them comfort? Or comforted you? Please share that with us in the comment section.