Electricity has returned to our home, and while we still don't have internet (!), the house is decidedly comfortable again. So since a number of you have asked how Alex has handled this whole flee-the-hurricane-return-to-chaos thing, I thought I'd take a moment to answer your question.
My assessment of how she's managed everything can be summed up in one quick phrase:
A helluva lot better than me.
Alex, bless her heart, is the most easy-going kid on the planet, and I truly think the reason I got to be her mom is because God knows what a tense, neurotic basket-case I can be, and figured that my having any child less calm than Alex as my daughter would only be a recipe for poison. (For what it's worth, I think it's the reason cool-as-a-cucumber Marcus was meant to be my husband as well. Pity the two fo them for having to deal with me.) She has viewed this whole ordeal as an adventure. She kept crying "BATTEN DOWN THE HATCHES, BABY!" as we rushed around last Thursday morning, Marcus folding up the lawn furniture and stashing it in our garage, and me packing the suitcase, grabbing our safe with our important documents, and yes, making sure to pack the brand new iMac (you didn't think I'd leave it behind, did you?!?). While in San Antonio, she reclined in the armchair in the hotel room, munching on Goldfish crackers, and calmly demanding room service (and she didn't even whine when we told her that room service just wasn't going to happen, that if she wanted to pay the shocking room service prices, she'd need to get a job, first). In fact, the only time the magnitude of the hurricane seemed to hit her was when we returned to the house, and she saw all the downed trees and debris: she let out a low, involuntary, Keanu-esque ...
But even after that, she grabbed a broom and "helped" me sweep, and pretty much stayed out of the way when that bored her, as Marcus and I finished up. Even night before last, as we sat in the darkened house lit only by candles, she murmured, "Mom? This is kind of beautiful."
All the while I moaned and muttered about living in the dark ages, whined about feeling too hot to sleep, and swore a blood oath to Marcus that after this, he'd never get me to go camping, since staying in this house with no utilities was enough to do me in.
In sum, Alex was an absolute star. And as usual, I could learn a lesson or two from her.
Song: Soak up the sun by Sheryl Crow