hadn’t planned on writing a second post about birthdays, but yesterdays’ birthday was quite eventful, so I thought it would be good to share about the joy that comes with unexpected and unplanned events.
I had big plans to run lots of errands yesterday to prepare for baby #2 (I know, not very exciting for a birthday, but it’s got to get done sometime!), but it seems the universe had other plans. The little guy decided to take a nap right when I was prepared (at least mentally) to go out. Not long after he fell asleep, we heard a big BOOM outside, followed by a flickering of lights in the apartment. I said to myself, “It sounds like something exploded.”
Shortly afterward, I heard the distinct sound of firetrucks, and I said to the hubby (who was looking out the window), “They’re stopping here, aren’t they?” Sure enough, they pulled up in front of our building and got out. There was no smoke, no burning smell and we figured there was someone stuck in the elevator being that there wasn’t a mad rush of firefighters coming into the building. We thought perhaps the elevator lost power, since we had no power in the kitchen. Less than a half hour later, they were gone. But that was only the beginning of the adventure….
Next to show up was Con Ed. Not long after they arrived, we lost power in the whole apartment, and then realized it was out in the whole building. (Mind you, the little guy slept through all of this, so I did things around the apartment until he woke up hours later). As the afternoon drew on, we realized it was going to be dark soon and we scrambled around the apartment to find flashlights, batteries and candles in case this lasted longer than the couple of hours Con Ed claimed in our phone calls to them for updates.
The afternoon turned into evening and our home grew dark. We filled some gallon jugs with water and propped flashlights behind them to brighten the room (thanks to the hubby’s discovery on Facebook) and lit some candles. Out in the hall a couple of neighbors were out and we got to chat with them. I was surprised to discover we were the most prepared people on our floor, so we lent out some flashlights and candles so they wouldn’t be sitting in their apartments in the dark.
Back inside, the little guy helped daddy change the batteries in his nightlight so we could brighten the room with stars and soothing music.
He dressed up in the snowman scarf (pictured above) and hat that came out of the closet with the Christmas candles we took out to help light up the place. We played by flashlight and battery operated tealights for a few hours and before we knew it, the power was back on (little did we know it would only be for an hour or so). It was getting late, but we were enjoying being together electronics free (for the most part) that we decided to keep the fun going and put on Christmas music and hang our Christmas lights (since decorating once the new baby comes is going to be pretty tough). Not long after, we put the little guy to sleep and decided to continue the celebration with a game of cards and a viewing of one of our favorites – Mean Girls. When the power went out again, we played cards by flashlight and the glow of the laptop computer.
It was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever celebrated. I got to spend the day – really spend the day, not just sitting around together distracted by other things – with my family, and it was awesome, the best gift I could ask for. So awesome, in fact, that we have decided to institute a couple of new traditions.
- Once a week, we’re going to shut off our electronics and our lights and spend time playing by flashlight and candlelight together.
- Every year on my birthday, we’re going to start our Christmas decorating.
The joy didn’t end when the lights came back on. This morning, I woke up to my little guy whispering in my ear “Mommy, I love you,” followed by his gasp and statement of “Wow, look, it’s glowing!” when he discovered the battery operated tealights I left on in the bathroom the night before.
Who knew so much joy could come from something as simple as losing power for an evening! I’m so grateful for our adventure (and grateful too that the power did eventually come back on and stay on). #ConEdison