Long Island Parent Talk

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Storm brings out child's rage, despair, joy

Residents view downed trees completely blocking Cold Spring

Residents view downed trees completely blocking Cold Spring Harbor Road in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy on Oct. 30 in Cold Spring Harbor. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power because of Sandy. (Credit: Getty Images)

Some of my friends’ children crumpled when superstorm Sandy blew through town. Others seemed oblivious.

My son got angry — angry at Mother Nature, angry at the government, angry at politicians and angry at the Long Island Power Authority.

“Curses, Hurricane Sandy,” Harrison said under his breath at critical moments throughout our eight-day blackout in Huntington.

We didn’t know the 8-year-old had it in him.

We tried to explain, and he knew, how losing electricity is temporary compared to the devastation some families sustained. We may have lost our power, but we still had hot water. That seemed to perk him up — that and reminding him that he did get to trick or treat on Halloween for a couple of hours and his baby bearded dragon was being taken care of by a very kind neighbor who had electricity. He soon made the point that we were blessed when any one of us adults lost our patience.

But Harrison's rage turned to jealousy toward the end of the blackout as homes around us, one by one, lit up like Christmas lights, and then despair, when it was so cold one night that even the fireplace, three blankets, four layers of clothing and winter jackets didn’t keep him warm, and then boredom, when we went in line at the gas station again.

The moment Harrison arrived home with my husband and mother to see our own house as bright as a Tannenbaum in late December, Harrison jumped out of the car and ran up our driveway screaming with joy. My voice mail button lit up at work.

“Mommy, you won’t believe it — we have power!” he screamed breathlessly into the phone.

How did your kids react throughout the storm?

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