Friday, March 9, 2012

Birthdays are mandatory, electricity is optional.

Last week, my younger daughter celebrated her 6th birthday.

Things were going something like this:
Me: Do you want to bring treats to school?

Her: Oh, yes.

Me: Cake balls, like last year?

Her: Oh, no.

Me (to myself): Please don't request a cake shaped like a dolphin or a pomeranian or anything else you've been pretending lately.

Her: How about chocolate-covered strawberries?

Me (to myself): Healthy-ish, and strawberries are on sale this week at the grocery. Yes!

Me: Chocolate-covered strawberries it is!

Her: And monkey cake for my regular party.

So we plan for the kids party on Saturday morning and the family party on Sunday around lunchtime.  The plan: animal charades, monkey bread, and lots of pasta.

But in the middle of the night, both children (separately) come into my room to inform me that the power has gone out and all they hear is crazy wind and can they please climb in my bed.

This birthday is not going well.

Around 7am on Saturday, we all decide to face the cold fact that our house has no electricity.  I silently decide that not only do we have to cancel the birthday, but we also have to move.  Today.  We wander around for about a half an hour before remembering that we have a fireplace.  The Music Man builds a fire and proceeds to cook oatmeal and brew coffee over our fire.

The sun starts to brighten our house.

That's enough for me to stand up and declare:

People had birthday parties before electricity was invented.  The party is on!

Her: What about the monkey bread?
Me: Let's roast marshmallows instead!
Her: Can I have one right now?

Clearly, this was going to be a memorable birthday.

making ice cream

So we fed the fire, pulled back every last curtain, lit candles, boiled pasta on the fireplace, wore sweaters, painted wooden animals, roasted marshmallows, acted like animals (that's the charades), and heard nary a complaint.

By evening, the power had been restored and we were thankful.

Thankful to sleep in warm beds.
Thankful to boil pasta on the stove.
Thankful to bake monkey bread in the oven.
Thankful to use all the conveniences that normally we take for granted.
And thankful for 6 years with this not-so-little one!



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