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 . . .