A letter to my daughter trapped by a disaster

Tonight I wrote a letter to one of my daughters – the 3 year old – that urged her to stay happy and smiling, be strong and good for the people looking after her. I told her I loved her loads and that I would with her as soon as I could.

This letter may never be read. In fact, I hope like heck it never is. Because this is a letter to go in my daughter’s emergency box at her pre-school. Following the Christchurch earthquake, the teachers reviewed their plan for looking after the children should they have to stay at the school over night, even for a couple of days, in the event of a disaster, such as an earthquake.

Parents have been asked to provide a box (ice cream container) that includes:

  • a small torch and batteries
  • underwear
  • toothbrush
  • juice
  • snack bars
  • a contact numbers
  • small toys/games
  • a picture we have drawn together
  • a family photo
  • …and a letter that can be read out to the child.

I think this is a fabulous idea and shows great forethought from the teachers at the pre-school. Imagine having to look after a whole group of children who all want their mummies and daddies, to go home, to go to bed.

But it’s a fabulous idea that I hope stays in little boxes, neatly stacked in the cupboard, forever unopened (except, perhaps, for interest when she leaves the pre-school).

I cannot imagine how she would feel listening to the letter should she ever be in a situation that would necessitate it being read aloud  – but I know that I was nearly in tears writing it.

Image source: matsuyuki > ‘in writing’

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