The press conference was about to begin. The good wife, Alicia Florrick, looked up and was just about to talk about her experience at the Presidential Inauguration when…
A loud BEEP interrupted her. I woke up in a daze, and stumbled to the dresser. That dream was what I got for watching TV right before I went to bed. Grabbing the dying phone, I took the batteries out of it. It still took me a few minutes to realize that the electricity was out and then I started to panic. Ed had to get up for work at five o’clock, and I had no idea what time it was. All my blind stumbling around woke up Ed and he quickly found a flashlight. Our battery operated clock confirmed that it was indeed time for Ed to get up.
I went back to bed and promptly couldn’t sleep. The house was still warm, so the power must have just gone out. The question was, how long would we be without power? I worried about a freezing house and broken pipes. What if no one else called the power company? I was sure that someone had; I could already hear a generator in our neighborhood.
Right before he went to work, Ed got the latest electric bill and I brought out the old corded phone we keep for power outages. ComEd was aware of our outage, and they predicted that the power would be back on by 7:00.
Lily and Emmy soon found their way downstairs, and as Ed disconnected the garage door and went off to work, I realized I was at home, tired, with two kids bouncing off the walls, and even worse…NO COFFEE.
I lit a lot of candles in the darkened house and the kids ran around like maniacs with their flashlights. It wasn’t long before the tinny old phone rang. No school today because there was no power.
This is not a story of how being without power brought us closer together as a family. No board games came out of the closet, no snuggling under blankets took place. I did what any sane mother without coffee would do. I told the girls to pick out a DVD to watch on the laptop while I ran out in the freezing rain to get the newspaper. They watched Monsters, Inc. while I curled up–alone–under a blanket to read “Ask Amy.” Thank goodness for long-lasting battery power!
The power came back before the movie was over, and they resumed watching it on the TV. I pressed the “on” button on the coffee maker. We eventually got out of the house and spent a couple of hours at the library browsing though books and reading together.
I think that made up for my lapse in parenting by the dawn’s early light.