Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Where's That Flashlight?

Oliver was flipping burgers for an MWR fundraiser at the softball game tonight, so the boys and I tagged along. Wyatt jumped into the wrestling match on the sand volleyball court with a bunch of the other boys that live here (nearly all the kids here are boys, interestingly enough). I was very impressed with how careful the older boys were with the little kids. I was not, however, so thrilled to see the sand matted into my son's hair when he came running back to me.

So, a bath was in order as soon as we returned to the trailer. I got them settled with a few toys, then ran down the hall to throw in a load of laundry. I had just started the washer when the power went out and the place was thrown into darkness. I could hear the boys screaming because the lights were out, and I called out to them in an effort to reassure them while I searched for a flashlight. I was able to get a hold of Wyatt's nightlight/flashlight combo that was plugged into the wall in his room right next to the bathroom where the boys were.

It didn't take me too long to do this in actuality, but it seemed like time slowed while I was looking for the light. Wyatt and Oscar were fine, but it took a lot of talking before they stopped freaking out. They wouldn't let me leave them alone unless I left the flashlight, so I ended up leading them through the house while we collected pjs and other necessary bedtime accouterments. I had promised them that we would all snuggle onto my bed if the lights were still out, but the power came back on while I was getting them dressed. They were all right about sleeping in their own beds after that.

I did learn a few things tonight. First, that we need to keep flashlights and extra batteries in every room of the house. Our place gets very, very dark when there is no power. I was literally feeling my way around while looking for the flashlight. Having one nearby would have been a great help.

Second, difficult events can often beget interesting teaching moments for both myself and the kids. When I was talking about how we can handle the rest of the evening without power, Wyatt assured me the TV would work if we shined the flashlight on it. He was a little upset when I explained that the same power that turns on the lights also makes the TV run. We then started naming everything that is run by electricity in the trailer.

It was enlightening to both of us just how much of our lives need electricity. It's probably a good idea to think carefully about what we would need short term if we were forced to deal with a prolonged electrical outage. I haven't spent much time on this before, but I know I should do so. It's not fun to have no plan when trouble comes.

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