When the lights go out and you find yourself with your kids in the dark, what can you do?
On Tuesday night, this is the exact situation I found myself in. In the midst of a serve thunderstorm, trees fell down, taking the power lines right down with them. Our power flickered, flickered and then was out. We were in the dark! Well, actually thanks to the sun, we were still in some light, after the storm passed. It was only seven o'clock. But the power was still out with no sign of coming back on anytime soon. The kids werenít ready for bed. They were almost excited that the power was out. As if they somehow knew that this was going to be a special night.
I feel like every time weather knocks our power out, it's like a wake-up call from Mother Nature. Almost kind of her way of saying 'hey, turn that television off, put down your phone and spend some time together!' In our constant plugged in world, I welcome the opportunity to 'unplug', even if not by choice. Still when this does happen, I try hard to not get frustrated by the inconvenience of the situation, but hope it will come back soon. Really who wants a fridge and freezer full of spoiled food?
On this occasion with our power out, the kids did some of their favorite power-free activities. Liam wrote a story about a family spending the day at the beach with colorful illustrations. Fynlee 'worked her muscles', as she says, by playing with play dough. Bryn took a little extra snooze, in the now quiet living room. As I sat there rocking with her and watching them, I relished in this moment of silent peace throughout our house. With summer here and our activities and plans stacking up, a little calm was definitely needed in our house on this night.
Later as I put the kids to bed, the power was still out, which meant no fans to lull them to sleep. Instead, I took this opportunity to have each of them lie very still in bed, turn up their listening ears and hear the crickets peep their sweet melodies. With each little one snug in their bed, drifting off to dreamland, I would now normally have to start my nightly routine to stay ahead of the tornado mess in our house every day. But with no power, this Momma got to lie down, listen to the crickets too and go to bed early!
Thank you Mother Nature for this pause! The chance to 'unplug', reconnect and experience your magical beauty with my children. Sure I'll have more work tomorrow and a longer morning routine. But you must have known, for this Momma, who rarely takes a break, it was well deserved and much needed.
Every day, I try to see the positive in each situation, good or bad, big or small. Itís definitely an Ďalternativeí choice in our very negative; fear is around every corner society. But I find itís worth the effort and helps in turning negative situations, like losing our power, into more positive experiences with my family.
Ė Rachel Ballin
I'm really enjoying sharing my experiences and point of view with you all. If you want to read more from me before next Friday, you can find me on Facebook at 'Baby Talk - with Rachel' for more stories about my life and family related information and ideas throughout the week. Once youíre at the page, feel free to like, share and post too. I'd love to hear from you, the readers!