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Lois Alter Mark Headshot

The Mother Of All Storms

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One of the biggest storms in history is hitting the East Coast, my children are in the middle of it and I'm 3,000 miles away from them. This bothers me way more than it bothers them.

OK, my children are 22 and 20. My son is working in Manhattan. My daughter is in college in Boston. And, okay, I may not be the best-equipped person to be with in an emergency -- after all, during the last San Diego power outage, I had to eat stale crackers because there was no food in the house, I practically passed out from hunger and the combined scent of the only candles I had and I spent half the evening sitting in my car, trying to get a radio signal and charge my cell phone.

But still...

I wish I were there with them.

When the kids were young, stormy days meant making popcorn and snuggling up together while watching movies. At least this is how I like to remember those days. The reality was probably more like me panicking, "How am I going to entertain these two little people indoors all day?" and bundling them into the double stroller, putting the plastic down and heading to Starbucks to bribe them with sugar and fortify myself with caffeine.

But still...

I worry about them.

Over the weekend, I advised both kids to stock up on candles, matches, batteries for their flashlights, water and food, and to make sure their cell phones and laptops were charged. I wrote all this in a cute, light-hearted email so I didn't sound like I was lecturing. I got no response so I called. The eye-rolling was as audible as each "Oh, mom."

Since the storm actually started, they've both been checking in with me often -- for my sake, not theirs. They're watching TV, talking to their friends and enjoying their day off. They're not starving.

But still...

I miss them.

Now I understand why my mother still asks me to call her when I get home. Being a parent doesn't end just because your children are living somewhere else.

I know I have no reason to get crazy -- other than hormones. My kids are the most capable people I know. They're the ones you want to be with during tough times. They're the ones I want to be with all the time.

So, although the rain keeps pouring down and the wind keeps blowing, both kids are fine. My husband and I are fine. We're all exactly where we should be.

But still ...