postcards from a hurricane

powering up my phone this morning i was assaulted by the number 1 flashing at me—marking the first day of september. how i didn't know it was coming has mostly to do with the hurricane that tore through here a few days ago. amazing how no power in your house can discombobulate you so. frankly, it's a date i'm always in denial about - even when my electronic calendars are working.

but these last days threw me for a loop.

i'd like to tell you a tale of family bonding and epic board games, and indeed there was some (i kicked some go-fish ass). but the moral of this story is addiction. it wasn't the lights we missed. no, candles and flashlights are adequate (at least during the last days of august). it turns out that i'm a power junkie. my dishwasher and laundry machines provide a sweet taste, but the delicious whirring sound of my laptop was the fix i was jonesing for.

news, communication, entertainment—contact. the hand crank radio that was a gift from my ex-mother-in-law for holiday 1999 (impending millennium doom) provided some small measure, but at around day three i would have given away one of my kids for some wifi or a working cell signal.

after whining a few times about not being able to watch tv, the little one took it in stride (as they do) but the big one clearly takes after his mama. cranky, jittery, moody—classic signs of withdrawal.

three days in, out of sheer desperation, i took a risk. i gave him a job. a job that usually falls outside of the scope of stuff he does around here (stuff he does around here being a frequent bone of contention in our family). i asked him to help with the littles. and, guess what? he stepped it up. at dinner at a neighbor's he took six children under the age of five upstairs and gave me and two other weary mamas a break. for hours. who knew that he had camp counsellor abilities hiding under all that teenage angst?

so the next day during the witching hour i asked him to do it again and crossed my fingers. five dollars and an hour to myself later he had babysat his little brother for the first time. and no blood was shed.

silver linings people. silver linings.