About This Blog

Rated P is a sketch comedy musical about parenthood celebrating the wonders & lunacy of raising kids from conception to college. This blog, written by Rated P's author & lyricist, Sandy Rustin, offers up a humorous and heartfelt look at the nitty gritty business of parenting.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Kaleidoscope of Hope

 The Tree in Our Yard.
Amidst the stress and wreckage of the past week, my three year old found a kaleidoscope.

"Look Mommy," he squealed peering into the eye hole, "I can see my imagination!"

It stopped me dead in my exhausted, anxiety-ridden tracks. Sunlight was the catalyst for kaleidoscope magic.  Oblivious to the enormous fallen fir tree aggressively draped across our patio furniture and serving as his backdrop, my little boy was a poster child for living in the moment.

Our family is so lucky. Lucky in a million ways - but this week in particular - we are incredibly fortunate that our home is still standing and that, after a long 8 days, our power has been restored. I've been reading lots of terrific articles & blogs about the positive effects of this hurricane. (My favorite is my friend Brooke's at CarpoolCandy.com). The urge to try to make good arise out of bad is the natural course of action for optimists. And since I place myself quite solidly in that category, I have found it unnerving that I have had a difficult time seeing the bright side. This storm has caused unfathomable devastation.

And yet ... there's my little boy standing in beams of sunshine, simple delighted.

I guess the bright side still sucks his thumb and sleeps with a blanky.

While I worried about whether or not our insurance would cover the damage, how long it would be until the lights came back on, and if my mother was right  - the smell in the fridge would never go away ... my children played. For eight days straight. (FYI, I've tried to make Hannukah comparisons, but really, aside from the fear that too many candles at once would start a fire, I got nothing). I taught my older son how to play chess. The boys invented some sort of wrestling game, the rules of which I am unclear on, but it requires them both to wear "special wrestling pants" and makes them laugh non-stop. We got to spend time with friends and family we don't get to see nearly enough. I discovered a new oatmeal that I'm really into. Silver linings were all around me. 

But I think I needed my house back to see them. A hot shower with my own toiletries. The ability to flip a switch with a successful outcome. The knowledge that my family was safe.

For us, life has now resumed a semblance of normalcy. Seeing the cup half full is a luxury I can now afford. But for many, many others, just a short drive away, silver linings have not yet been revealed.  I understand. No matter how sunny your disposition, it's hard to see through the clouds when you're standing in the middle of them.

Below is a compilation of things you can do to help those families who have yet to find the bright side.

I plan to send some kaleidoscopes.


VOULNTEER IN South Queens, Broad Channel and Rockaway:


There are many donation drop off points available in the Maplewood/South Orange area. Below is a list of things most needed. If you need help finding a place to drop items off, please let me know.


*MOST ESSENTIAL ITEMS* – Work gloves, batteries, flashlights, face masks, thick black contractor bags. These need to be CLEARLY marked so that we can distribute them easily and quickly.

*MOST ESSENTIAL MEDICINE ITEMS* – Baby cough medicine, BAND-AIDS, Neosporin, Ace bandages, Advil, Tylenol. Please mark clearly.

*CLEANING SUPPLIES* – Mops, brooms, shovels, bleach, clorox, buckets.

*MOST ESSENTIAL FOOD ITEMS*- Water, orange juice, apple juice, granola bars, powdered milk, jelly, bread.

*MOST ESSENTIAL BABY ITEMS* – Baby food, formula, bottles, wipes, diapers. 

And please - share your own Post Hurricane thoughts. (I'd love to hear from you). You can post here in the comments or on Mamadrama.com where they're compiling a list of blogosphere thoughts.

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