Stories from Maria – Joan Montalvo

From a former member:

Most Saturdays my daughter and I take a short walk in the city to an adorable coffee shop. The storm suspended that. Today she got dressed and said: Mommy, its Saturday, lets’ go for muffins. I tried to avoid details as to why the shop (and other places) is closed for the third week due to lack of electricity and water, but after a 5th “why?” I realized that a natural disaster and the aftermath could happen anywhere at any time. This should be used to teach some valuable life lessons to our children who are constantly shielded from life by our modern parenting. We try to fix everything, fight lines for the best toy, numb them with electronics and give them constant and immediate attention (and before anyone protests, I am including myself and make sure you go into deep thought – you will see my point.) My kids have missed two weeks of school, but they have learned how to collect rain water for showers, wash clothes by hand, reduce garbage and waste so we don’t contaminate the streets, avoid illness caused by dirty water, help neighbors, share resources, share your home with family, wait in lines for gas/food, how to ditch the clean office attire for a back pack and jeans to help clean your damaged workplace even through the weekends – the value of hard work and moving out of your comfort zone. They are learning that even in dire circumstances, you don’t sit and wait for rescue. If you are able, you get moving to survive and restore – think outside the box. Most of all, I want the kids to see that we can say we were “blessed” but in no way we should think that we were more deserving than others to be able to keep our roof and windows. A small shift in angle or increase in wind speed or a few more inches of rain and the story may have been different. Therefore, we have to have empathy and help others. If we keep moving, working and reinventing we will hopefully be able to get back to those city walks and muffins sooner rather than later and give others the opportunity to do the same.