8.29.2011

Lights Out, Life Unplugged

On Saturday, the family hunkered down for the worst of Hurricane Irene.  We really got off lucky this time.  We saw heavy rain, lost power for about two hours, and that was it. We were fortunate.  Being stuck inside with the kids was probably worse than the Hurricane itself, for us anyway.  Even though we were on the edge of the storm’s path, we lost power just as soon as my son took his first step down the stairs, about 8:30 am.
Image from WRAL during Hurricane Irene
Luckily, my husband and I got in our electronic fix as part of our typical morning routine before the outage.  I enjoyed two cups of tea while soaking up all the news and social media that I could, before the kids awakened for the day.  I was following the storm on TV, Twitter, and was about to log into Facebook when we became unplugged.  When we lose power in my home, we truly become unplugged. I don’t have an iPad or a smartphone.  We are really left in the dark, so to speak.

The apple doesn’t fall too far from the parental tree because my son likes his own “little morning” routine, too.  He likes to watch TV when he awakes, just like kids used to do on Saturday mornings when children’s programming was just one day a week, and not around the clock as it is in 2011.  His little routine buys these middle-aged parents, who well remember peaceful and leisurely mornings before kids, some much needed time in the morning.

I don’t think we are bad parents.  We take our kids to parks, museums, shopping centers, and on playdates. We read to them, teach them things, make brownies with them, expose them to different foods through a variety of restaurants, and when we travel, they stay in some of the nicest hotels around.  I wouldn’t mind being my own child, honestly.  They do a lot more than I ever did as a child.  Sure, my son has some downtime in front of the TV, and this summer it’s probably been a lot more than it needed to be.  I will go ahead and admit that, but we’re about to shut the TV off entirely during the week when he gets back in school.
A little morning coloring.  Yes, she does wear her brother's old PJs.

When our children are home, we expect for them to entertain themselves a good bit of the day. It’s good for their imagination.  Am I their constant playmate?  No, I’m their 42-year-old mom, who is not a big fan of playing children’s games, and I’m certainly not pulling out Junior Scrabble at 8:30 am on a Saturday.

That is, until maybe the power is out, and a hurricane is looming outside. 

He asked, “Well, what do we do?”

My husband responded, “We’ll talk.”  And then I interjected, “Yeah, and we may play a game after breakfast.”

He looked at me as if hell froze over and then searched for the game with his flashlight.


After he set up our game, my husband left me to play the game alone while he showered with whatever water was left in the tank.  My son spelled “sun,” and I thought he was brilliant, until I looked and saw that there were numerous words written on the board with their photos beside them.  Okay, so he’s not brilliant for his age.  My mistake.

Baby Diva proceeds to knock his clever word off the board, and throws a “T” across the room as I tried to spell “storm.”  Mr. Cool loses his cool, and I start to wonder what the storm is doing. We already know there is no “sun.”  Man, I hate being unplugged.  At the drop of one letter, everyone lost interest in the game.  My son is mad at his sister.  They are wrestling in loud chaos beside me, as letters of the alphabet are stuck to their feet.  Can you spell, “O-V-E-R?”

She makes games a challenge

Soon, the power flickered.  Could it be?  Yes, it was.

My son yelled with glee, “We can watch TV.”

The storm brewed outside all day.  It was dark, dreary, and dangerously stormy. With no plans, the day was long, but we were thankful to be safe, cool, and plugged in.  




***Today's post is meant to provide my readers with a little reading entertainment.  Unfortunately, many people in North Carolina, and all along the Eastern Coast, have a lot to clean-up today.  Our thoughts are with them as this process begins, and damage is surveyed.  For a complete look at storm damage in the Tarheel state, visit http://www.wral.com/


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