For almost a week, my town has been in a state of emergency due to flooding. Some down town roads are underwater and a few of my friends who live near the river have had to leave their homes. My family is fortunate that while we live close to the river, we are also on a hill. I can't imagine what my friends or their children are going through - to have to leave your home, to not be able to check on it and not know when you will be able to go home or even know what you would be returning to must be beyond scary and upsetting and all I can do is hope this is over very soon.
Since this is affecting everyone in town, roads down town are closed, my daughter's school was closed for a few days for the safety of the students not because it was flooded, the talk of flooding has been a regular thing in our house. I was nervous for a little bit, unsure like many others as to what was going to happen but I didn't realize how my thoughts were affecting Grace. I have forgotten what it feels like to be a child when things go wrong. As an adult and a parent I am use to being in control, to knowing what to do when life gets scary, but I have forgotten what it feels like from a child's point of view. I grew up a worry wart, even though I didn't have many things to worry about. I would worry about plane crashes, hurricanes - or any natural disaster, my house catching on fire....scary things. My parents would just tell me "that won't happen, so don't worry about it." That advice didn't work with me because I knew that stuff happened, maybe not where I lived but in other parts of the world it did and I was scared. What would happen if say a hurricane ever did come through my town or if my house caught on fire, what would happen? As an adult I know now what would happen - we would head to our basement with a radio and our emergency kit and wait and see or would we leave the house. I understand about insurance and all that other boring stuff that comes with being grown up and being a parent, Grace doesn't. When I became a parent I promised myself that I wouldn't shrug off fears that my children may have. I try to acknowledge their fears when it's obvious that they are scared. That there are some scary things in the world, that we can only control so much in our lives (something that I still have trouble with) but in our family, we have plans in place and that's all we can do. Sometimes though life does surprise you in not nice ways. Even though I try I still dropped the ball on addressing Grace's flood fear. I didn't notice how upsetting it was to her. We had gone out for a walk and talked a bit about all the water we were seeing and at the time she seemed ok. It wasn't until a few hours afterwards that her mood started to change but I didn't take too much notice, I figure she was getting tired. But then Grace started complaining her tummy hurt, again dunce mommy, didn't put it all together. But when she mentioned something about the Early Years I finally clued in. I thought she was calm with the flooding because both my husband and I explained to our oldest our house would be fine because we are on a hill. That all the water will go soon, all we could do right now is wait and that we can do our part afterwards. But all Grace was scared about was seeing the parking lot of the Early Years underwater, something that she had never seen before. She became scared because she loves that place and seeing the water possible harm the centre I think hit home with her. After explaining and seeing the water start to leave the Early Years, Grace was fine.
On a side note, I am proud of my new community and how everyone has come together to help each other out. If you want to make a donation to help those who are directly affected by the flood, please contact Township of Minden Hills at firstname.lastname@example.org.