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the mother of all storms

The biggest storm in history is hitting the East Coast, my children are in the middle of it and I’m 3000 miles away from them. This bothers me way more than it bothers them.

Hurricane Sandy

Okay, my children are 22 and 20. My son is working in Manhattan. My daughter is in college in Boston. And, okay, I may not be the best-equipped person to be with in an emergency – after all, during the last San Diego power outage, I had to eat stale crackers because there was no food in the house, I practically passed out from the combined scent of the only candles I had, and I spent half the evening sitting in my car, trying to get a radio signal and charge my cell phone.

But still …

I wish I were there with them.

When the kids were young, stormy days meant making popcorn and snuggling up together, watching movies. At least this is how I like to remember those days. The reality was probably more like me panicking, “How am I going to entertain these two little people indoors all day?” and bundling them into the double stroller, putting the plastic down and heading to Starbucks to bribe them with sugar and fortify myself with caffeine.

But still …

I worry about them.

Over the weekend, I advised both kids to stock up on candles, matches, batteries for their flashlights, water and food, and to make sure their cell phones and laptops were charged. I wrote all this in a cute, light-hearted email so I didn’t sound like I was lecturing. I got no response so I called. The eye-rolling was as audible as each “Oh, mom.”

Since the storm actually started, they’ve both been checking in with me often – for my sake, not theirs. They’re watching TV, talking to their friends, enjoying their day off. They’re not starving.

But still …

I miss them.

Now I understand why my mother still asks me to call her when I get home. Being a parent doesn’t end just because your children are living somewhere else.

I know I have no reason to get crazy — other than hormones. My kids are the most capable people I know. They’re the ones you want to be with during tough times. They’re the ones I want to be with all the time.

So, although the rain keeps pouring down and the wind keeps blowing, both kids are fine. My husband and I are fine. We’re all exactly where we should be.

But still …

This post originally appeared on my former blog, StyleSubstanceSoul.com.


  1. Jennifer Christy says:

    Reading this reminds me of me as I say the same things to my children. Must be a mom thing. Thanks for posting.

  2. Like you, I am far away from my sons, both of whom are in college in the Northeast. We have also been checking in, and though they weren’t taking all this seriously at first – I believe they began to last evening.

    We continue to check in. I’m also concerned about some of their friends, also in college, whom I’ve known since they were all children together.

    One thing about texting and Facebook and other means of social communication – we have more than the telephone as a vehicle for reassurance. That said, it’s hard not to worry. And this entire country will be impacted. There’s no question.

  3. deb sweet says:

    spoken from a mom to another mom that thinks just as you do…and so does my mom…and so on and so on…

  4. elissa mast says:


  5. You nailed the mom thing, for me as a mom and a daughter! Prayers for your kids and everyone else who has family and friends out there. Hugs!

  6. anna baker says:

    I can relate. Daughter is at Johns Hopkins and the neighborhoods are sketchy at best from one street to another. The power goes out, the criminally minded come out…. Holding prayers constantly.

  7. Mary Logadi says:

    I understand you so much! My son is 24 and although he lives on the upper floor with his girlfriend, I can’t help worrying about everything concerning him. Of course I try not to show my worries and make him feel suffocated, but I feel so relieved when I see that his car is at the parking space!
    So,I can imagine how it feels to be far way from your children,no matter how old they are, but as you said above they are safe with friends and all the neccessary equipment to go through this adventure…After all, I’m sure that you have raised them to be survivors!

  8. ‘they’re the ones I want to be with all the time’, made my cry. As much as I LOVE seeing my kids fly, I hope to always be their safe harbor. Truth is, it’s finding their way out of the storm that gives them their wings. My thoughts are with all the moms who have kids in the eye of the storm.

  9. Laura Pruden says:

    Aww, this is so real… My siblings are in MA and NH… And it is even hard for me. As a parent, I cannot imagine being away from my kids at his time. Much love to you and all who are separated… May our loved ones stay safe and know we are hoping the best for all on the East coast …

  10. Thank you so much for sharing this! I have 2 daughters 19 and 22 in DC.
    I called, text and emailed with similar reminders, food, charging of phones, bringing bikes inside and the securing outside furniture down so they would not blow throw their windows. They survived with no university classes on Monday and Tuesday. One had a fire alarm go off in her dorm and was forced to go outside in the wind and rain. That was her worst part. You articulated my feelings better than I could! I will now call my mom! Thank YOU!

  11. My sons are 41 and 39 and it never ends. Because then they add wives and grandchildren and the worry goes on and on forever. 🙂

  12. Does it help to know that your friends were worrying about them too? I sent a little circle of light to surround them:) Glad all is well.

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