We didn't have power for an entire week, 7 days, or approximately 168 hours. Some of you went without for longer, some shorter. But as I talk to all the moms and dads out there, all everyone wants to do is "Just get back to normal."
I have two sons, ages 7 and 5. They are at that perfect separation in age where they have some similar interests, but are different enough developmentally that they don't see things the same way. One is focused on the rules. The other wants playing to be interesting and fun. They argue.
When the power went out on Saturday night, I was concerned. I was worried that after a few days, they would really start to get on one another's nerves, and push each other's buttons and miss their friends. But to my amazement, by Wednesday, they were still playing together — happily! They were pulling out games they hadn't played in months and months, they were using their imaginations, they were cooperating. My husband and I kept remarking to one another how incredible it was. We would say, "Where are the boys? Are they still playing?"
In addition to that, and because we were outside hauling limbs from downed trees, they were out there too, playing in the brush piles, coming up with stories, enjoying one another's company. At night time, they waited in eager expectation for mommy at the grill to see what culinary delight I had come up with that night (mostly mac n cheese) and ate it up!
On Friday, when the cold had gotten to us for the last time and we had slept on friends floors for many nights, we decided to get a generator. We plugged it in and guess what was the first thing they did? They started arguing. My husband and I looked at each other in an "aha" moment and said, "The t.v.!"
Because they had not had the t.v. to distract themselves away from each other all week, they had to maintain and work on communication, thus providing them with many more hours of cooperation and teamwork. Once the t.v. came on, they could ignore one another, get absorbed into a show and then, when the show was over, they would have to go to all the effort of shaking off the rust that had developed on their little friendship.
So, what positive habits did your children develop during the week? What habits would you like them to maintain even though the power is back on? What changes do we need to make as parents so that we can capture those things and not let them go despite the fact that the video games and t.v.'s can be plugged back in?