Saturday, November 21, 2009

Perchance to Dream . . .

Our electricity went off tonight. Dawn had been in bed for about 30 minutes. The kids had just settled down. I was enjoying a little solitude.

Not many of you know this, but I am panicky scared of the dark, especially of electricity-less dark. It's too quiet and WAY too dark, just as I imagine the opening moments of the apocalypse may be. Yikes and shivers.

I was immediately still as a statue can be in a swivel chair. With its eyes closed. I know that doesn't seem right, but here's my argument . . . When the lights are down, it very often is the shadows that freak me out and cause me to do things destructive like jump and run and knock over something that crashes something else or my toe. So for the last few years I've been closing my eyes in the dark so I'm not unnecessarily distracted from my goal - survival.

So there I was in my swivel chair, eyes closed, waiting for Dawn to get up and come and save me. Instead of her shuffling/stumbling pads, I heard a herd of elephants. It wanted a Mommy. And just when I was feeling my best.

I got my herd snuggled together on the couch and assured them I would be right back with a light. Turning to face my darkened path, I chanted something like "Ham Sa Brea Thing Is Good Ham Sa Ham Sa Damn It And Gulf Po Wer Brea Thing Brea Thing Please For The Love Of God Let Me Keep Brea Thing."

Wouldn't you have loved to see me, a completely un-blind woman stumbling around dining chairs in the dark with my eyes squeezed shut, all the time noiselessly mouthing monosyllabic babble?

As it turned out, I got to spend a complete hour with all of my children, all to myself. I read aloud, by candlelight one of the Magic Tree House books by Mary Pope Osbourne while they snuggled together near-silently. I can't remember the last time they did that, for that long. When the book was done, they all lay down together on a pallet; and the little boys fell asleep while I rubbed their foreheads.

And that's a true story - I'm not even making it up.

Clearly, the power is back on now and my heartrate has returned to something close to normal, and my breathing will soon mimic that of my sleeping angel-kids. But before my big slumber, I had to take a minute to appreciate the storm that brought the lightning that brought the thunder that brought down the lights that brought my children to my arms that held a story that rocked us all into calm that delivers us to dream . . .



  1. Awesome a scary moment turned out to be wonderful indeed. Great post

  2. such a beautiful story teller are you....

    and you and I have the same reaction to darkness-when I go into my bedroom at 4am and it's pitch dark, I close my eyes just in case there's something in the dark I really don't want to

  3. That is a beautiful piece of writing.

  4. I love this. God is Good. That's Sanskrit for The Universe is Good Too.
    Funny and brave warm and snuggly and multilingual all at the same time. Love love love it.

  5. Such a beautiful moment, beautifully captured.

  6. whew, and D slept through it all? dork.
    SO did it empower you a teeny bit to have that great time while in the dark?

    ps. i have that fear in dark creepy, stuff stacked all over, open stairs, basements.
    remind me to tell you the time G locked me in one... FUNNY story!

  7. Ummm, I uh, well see...
    Oh I was tired and didn't even know the electricity was off - I can totally hear that herd of elephants though.
    I'm sorry I missed this, but I sure slept great last night...maybe it was the silence, no electric hum to the house.

  8. wow! what a night! if I was there I think the chant would have freaked me out, like from the Temple of Doom... =o*

  9. I'll bet the kids think you're one of the bravest women on the Planet.
    You're a good Mom.

  10. What a great story! You ended up getting some great time with the kids - how unexpected and cool!

  11. I'm not too scared of the dark. And I would have woke up the instant the electricity went off. And then I could have sat out there with you and the kids and let you read to me too....LOL I'll make sure to keep a flash light close by.

  12. I hate those times when I have to be the grown up and not afraid. This sounds like a good one, though.

  13. ....what's that part about wearing/not wearing a bra??