After our fire, our children received a parade of visitors and gifts. Neighbors we never met dropped off bags of toys, fellow moms took my children shopping and bought them whatever they wanted, relatives sent packages daily filled with lots of fun little treats. Even I was more laid back--they got soda at restaurants along with dessert, every store we visited, we got them a toy. I remember taking them to get shoes a fews after the fire and Sarah pulled down some UGGS while Miley grabbed some Michael Kors dress shoes and the boys begged for these fancy light up shoes with a special sole. I bought them not even caring how much they were. They had been in either hand me down shoes or no shoes since the fire. (I did get the boys some very cheap shoes at Wal-mart but they got some pretty bad blisters--flat footed kids!)
And then there was bedtime. They did not want to be alone and strangely neither did Mike or I. We all piled into one of the hotel beds every night. A tight fit but we did manage to sleep.
There was some attitude creeping in about a week after the fire. I got concerned that maybe we needed to bring back our ‘real’ lives and stop living in this fantasy kid world.
I remember asking a friend who went through her own fire a few years back if she was worried about spoiling her child.
She laughed, “You can’t spoil a child who just lost his home!”
I paused to think about what she was saying. I hadn’t really thought much about how they felt about losing their HOME. I was so concerned making sure we had food, clothing and something to put a smile on their faces, I didn’t remember that the place they have been their entire lives was burned and half destroyed. I knew because of insurance our house and all the items in it would be replaced, eventually but then I am an adult. My kids, even the oldest, really have no concept how home insurance works.
I talked to them and we talked about what happened. Spanky, the three year old, cried about how spiderman (his Christmas present) was burned. Dino tearfully said he missed his bed, and the girls--oh the girls--they were sad they didn’t have the stuffed animals they have had since little babies.
And then it really hit me how devastating this was for them. Their world was destroyed. Any sort of comfort Mike and I could provide was needed.
So we continued the toys and the desserts for a while.
Three months later, there are not as many gifts nor as many desserts (yes even the kids got sick of sugar) and we are starting to reach a new normal. The kids are helping to pick things for the ‘new’ house and are eagerly excited to have a big party when we get home.
And they know we will be HOME soon.