Weathering The Storm…Of Parenthood

…wait, West Palm Beach 99 percent chance?! Oh s&%t!”
“Wow! Those are some nice colors…

Welcome back readers,

Just last week, those of us in South Florida dodged a bullet in the form of Hurricane Matthew. If you have lived in Florida for a while, then you understand that dealing with hurricanes is a big part of life. As for myself, I have seen both sides of the coin; storm seasons where it seems as though there is a menacing cyclone threatening every week to years when hurricanes turn away from Florida as if it had the plague. The first storm I had to deal with was Hurricane Andrew and being only six years old back then, I thought it was such an exciting time. Oh the innocence of children, eh? Everyone who knows about Andrew remembers how that turned out and it was anything but thrilling for parts of Florida.

I bring all of this up because Matthew was my son’s first experience with a hurricane. And his occurred at the ripe old age of 10 months! His exposure to the tropical nuisance of Florida was pretty uneventful, for the most part. Once the winds picked up at night he did wake up crying a couple of times. So my wife and I believe he was scared and a little stressed out. But, with the comfort of both his Momma and Papa, he was able to go back to sleep.

Speaking of stressful situations, handling hurricane preparation is much more intensive with a baby. Plans have to be reassessed with a fine-toothed comb to include all ways of ensuring the little one will be comfortable. Occurrences like losing electricity can be made more complicated with a child. We didn’t lose power, thankfully, so that was one less thing to worry about (and wonder about as well because in the past, we have lost power just because a bird crapped too hard on a transformer, yet tropical storm winds didn’t do it).

My wife and I stayed up for a good part of the night, listening to the wind and rain howl outside. Once we finally went to bed, it was hard for me to stay asleep as my eyes would open every hour to check the storm’s progress. My son, however, continued to sleep through it after his initial rough start. Amazing, isn’t it? The innocence of a child in situations adults find stressful. Once daylight came, the winds had slowed to a gusty breeze and the little guy was full of energy. His parents? Ummm, not so much.

What I learned from this circumstance is how different it is going through a hurricane as a home-owning parent versus being a child with no worries. I remember, as a kid, being fascinated with a hurricane’s strength and the dreaded “Cone of Error” (hey, I was a weird child, okay?). I never worried about how it all could affect me besides hoping for a few days off from school. I’m sure my brothers and I only added stress to my parents. And you know what? That’s how it should be. Children shouldn’t have to worry about these things because that is the parents’ job.

We, as parents, give our young ones stability and handle the worrisome things in life. They give us back a small piece of levity within the craziness of our daily routines (and they sometimes provide that craziness themselves, so at those times it’s a draw). Who knows how my son will deal with difficult situations as he grows. The great thing is he has both myself and his mom to hopefully teach him the right way of coping. Then maybe one day, he will pass those lessons down and experience the same stress of being a parent. Hey, payback sucks, doesn’t it?

-I hope everyone made it through the storm okay. Until next time!






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