Powering Off

My boys enjoying a peaceful morning with hot beverages.

A little after 4 this morning, I heard the tell-tale click of the air pump on our Select Comfort bed shutting off. That usually means an interruption in the power. In our ten years in this house, our power has rarely gone out. Occasionally, it flickers off and then on again within a matter of seconds. So, I waited. A few seconds later I raised my sleepy head and opened one eye to glance at the alarm clock across the room for verification. Yep. No light in the room whatsoever. We were without power. I told hubby, set my iPhone for his 5:10 alarm and then my 6:45 alarm, and fell back asleep.

At 6:40 the kids burst into our room to announce the exciting news that we were without power, just in case I was unaware. I was not. I’d heard hubby fumbling around in pitch black getting ready for work at 5:30. I wondered briefly if he’d managed to walk out of here wearing clothes that matched, then told my children who were all a-twitter that it was no big deal. I shuffled them into the shower and made a mental note of all the things I would not be doing this morning…making my usual latte, listening to Phineas and Ferb on the television, drying my hair, using the garage door opener.

When we arrived downstairs, the house was cold. I had Luke flip on the gas fireplace. Ooooh….it’s like camping, they said. The joy wore off when Joe realized that his Eggo waffles would remain frozen this morning. I suggested cereal and told them I would make some hot chocolate. They looked at me like I was crazy. How could I use the stove when there was no power? I walked over, flipped on the gas, and lit the burner by hand. You would have thought I had invented fire. They were in the presence of pure genius. When I lifted the garage door, I might as well have been Hercules. I couldn’t decide if I was happy that my kids finally understood how much I am capable of or I was depressed that apparently under normal circumstances they barely think I’m capable of a thing.

I feel sorry for my kids. They’ve had it so easy for so long that they have no clue what they could live without if they had to. Based on their utter amazement that life was even possible without electronics this morning, I made a unilateral decision. This Friday night we’re unplugging for an entire evening. Starting at 5 p.m., there will be no television, computers, iPads, iPhones, lights, appliances, Nintendo games, iPods, nothing with an on/off switch for any of us. We’re going to spend the evening playing cards or games, reading books by candlelight, and just spending time together without distractions. I envision one of two things happening during this grand experiment: 1) someone will have to be restrained to control their gadget-withdrawal-trembling hands or 2) we will have bored each other to sleep by 8:30. I sure hope it’s the latter because I could really use a good night’s sleep.

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