Power Outage

October 05, 2009

Last night, we were sitting inside, listening to the rain, when there was a loud pop, followed by no power. Vanya had been running around wild, and every light in the house had been on, so the sudden dark and quiet was disconcerting.

I had the laptop on, so I got him to sit with me and watch an online stream of The Simpsons, both for something to do, and to calm him down. After he went to bed, I had eenough battery for a couple more shows, so I just vegged out until my battery was completely cooked. By then, it was 11:00, and I was surprised that it was still dark. I went out back, lit a cigar, and walked the block to make sure someone was working on something or other. Satisfied that they were, I sat out back, finished my smoke, and read a crappy story on the iphone's Kindle application until that battery was dead too.

Watching a cartoon on the laptop during a power outage.

By then, it was 1:30, so I gave up on seeing the return of power. I had put Vanya in one of the downstairs twin beds, and to spare Mrs. theskinnyonbenny from my snoring, I went and got into the other one. As soon as I had drifted off, I heard the loud thunk and crying of a kid who fell out of bed.

I picked him up, put him back in the bed, and tucked his blanket up to his face. He was sniffling, cute and calm and sweet. Then, he wanted to go potty and get some juice, so we turned on our headlamps and went through these tasks. I carried him room to room, held him while he drank juice in the middle of the night, and tucked him in for the second time.

It's so easy to pacify an anxious three-year-old. You know exactly what he wants: a safe blanket, a shoulder for his tired little head, a glass of juice. Earlier than that, and they don't realiably tell you what's wrong. And later in life, your kids' demons become more and more complicated, until they're teenagers and you have no clue what's bothering them or how to provide comfort.

As I layed down and tried to sleep again, I listened to a story on my ipod. It was a sad story of a father who had let down his familiy in the worst way possible. It made me glad for the life that I have.