Explaining The Remains Of The Jersey Shore To Your ChildChristine Coppa
Last night JD iPhone FaceTimed with uncle Carlo and Mema (my mom)—both live a block from the ocean in Bradley Beach, NJ. They are staying with my pregnant cousin Kara, husband and dog. They have a big home with power, guest rooms for them and she also welcomed Max the Dog. The shore condo is powerless, yet still standing. I invited them all here to my condo, but it would have been a tight squeeze and Carlo needs to be close to the shore to access the damage, consult with FEMA—and, well, work.
JD just wasn’t understanding why uncle Carlo and Mema were by cousin Kara last night or the night before. “You’re still there!” The barrage of questions came when FaceTime ended. I was being hardcore interrogated by my child. He wanted to know what happened to his beach.
“Do they live there, now, mommy. FOREVER?”
“What happened to uncle Carlo’s house with the balcony where I look for blimps?”
“Does Kara have a beach at her house for Max to run on?”
“Are we gonna play on the beach with Liv this summer and get Spiderman ice pops?”
“Is the sprinkle cookie store open?” (He was referring to Del Ponte’s)
“Is the park where I play with Zack there or did that break too?”
“Did everything break, mom?”
I took a breath. I was feeling pretty spent. I miss the shore, too. I’m sad too.
“Yes, everything broke.” Then I unflinchingly whacked my hand on a tower JD was building out of Legos. He looked at me like I was insane.
“Hey!” he said. “Moooooom!”
I calmed him down, sat him down and took a blue block in my hand. I started to build his tower again.
“But just like I’m building this tower again, everyone is going to rebuild the Jersey Shore again, OK?” I handed JD a green block. “Wanna help?” JD clicked the piece in. We sat and rebuilt. We took our time. The tower didn’t look the same, JD brought it up and I explained that to him, too.
“It will never be the same bud. That red block was down there before, now it’s here. It’s still cool.”
I cried last night.
More from me on the Jersey Shore here.
JD drew this at summer camp this year:
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